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LIKELIHOOD OF VICTIMS REPORTING CRIME TO POLICE
Marital status appears to impact on the likelihood of a victim reporting an assault to police, with married people having a higher proportion (37%) than unmarried people (27%) (table 11.5). The difference may actually be driven by age rather than marital status as younger people are more likely to be unmarried.
A person's labour force status (i.e. employed, unemployed or not in the labour force) does not appear to be a significant contributor to a victims propensity to report assault to police.
Victims in capital cities (29%) are marginally less likely to report assault to police than victims in non-metropolitan areas (34%).
CHARACTERISTICS OF ASSAULT
Differences were found in the reporting of assault to police by location of the assault (graph 11.6). Victims were more likely to report the most recent assault to police if the assault occurred at home (37%) or place of work/study (36%), than if the assault occurred in a public place or some other location (25% each).
Despite the propensity of victims to report an assault that occurred in their own home, victims were less likely to report an assault if the offender was their partner (17%) than if the offender was not personally known to them (48%) or was a neighbour (54%) (graph 11.7). Victims of offenders who were friends were also less likely to report an assault to police (23%). There was no significant difference in the proportion of victims reporting an offence where the offender was the victim's ex-partner, acquaintance or work/study colleague.
Physical injury is a major contributor to a victims propensity to report the most recent assault to police, rising with the severity of injury (graph 11.8). Over three quarters (77%) of victims would report an assault to police when admitted to hospital. Those injured, but not admitted to hospital comprised 42%. Only 26% of victims that were not physically injured reported the most recent incident to police.
The number of offenders involved in an assault did not significantly influence the likelihood of a victim reporting to police (graph 11.9).
The use of a weapon influenced a victims decision to report the most recent assault to police (graph 11.10). Over half of victims (55%) of assault involving a weapon reported the most recent assault to police compared to victims where there was no weapon used (28%).
Victims that considered the most recent incident to be a crime were more likely to report the most recent assault to police (45%) than those that did not consider the incident a crime (11%) (graph 11.11).
Victims were more likely to report the most recent assault incident to police if it was serious. The extent of injury resulting from the incident, the use of a weapon in the incident and whether the victim considered the incident to be a crime all had a significant impact on the likelihood of a victim reporting the incident to police.
Age also is a factor with older people more likely to report to police. The location of the incident and whether the offender was known to the victim also had some impact, with victims more likely to report if the incident occurred at home than if it occurred in a public place or some other location, and less likely to report the incident if the offender was their partner.
REASONS FOR NOT REPORTING
The most common reason provided by victims who did not report an assault to police was that the matter was too trivial/unimportant (29%) (graph 11.12). This is consistent with findings that show that victims were more likely to report incidents of a serious nature.
Less than a quarter of victims (24%) indicated that the incident was a personal matter or the victim would take care of it themselves as the reason for not reporting to police. Other reasons for not reporting included: there was nothing the police could do (9%); and police would be unwilling to do anything (10%).
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