ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication presents national crime statistics relating to victims of a selected range of offences that have been recorded by police. These statistics provide indicators of the level and nature of recorded crime victimisation in Australia and a basis for measuring change over time. As not all crimes are reported to or recorded by police, other data sources can assist in providing a more comprehensive view of crime levels in society.
INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS
The statistics contained in this publication are derived from administrative systems maintained by state and territory police. Although national standards and classifications are used, differences over time in the level of recorded crime may reflect factors other than a change in the incidence of crime. Over time there have been significant changes in police recording systems, business rules and legislation resulting in some discrepancies remaining between states and territories for some offence types. Short term effects on the level of crime recorded by police may also occur as a result of individual jurisdictional initiatives, such as special task forces formed to combat particular offences, or implementation of proactive policing campaigns to encourage reporting by the public. Details of differences that impact on the statistics are in the Explanatory Notes paragraphs 58-135.
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
In 2009, there have been two key changes to the victims data which has affected data comparability with previous reference periods:
The first is the implementation of elements of the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS). For 2009, victim counts exclude outcomes of investigations that have been determined as 'no crime' for all jurisdictions, except the Northern Territory, while 2008 included these counts for all jurisdictions, except Queensland. For further details on the impact of removing outcomes of investigations classified as 'no crime', refer to the Technical Note on page 96.
Offence data for 2009 in this issue are based on the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), 2008 (second edition) (cat. no. 1234.0). Offence data for previous years are based on ASOC 1997 (the first edition). For more information see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 25-27 and the Technical Note on page 96.
Due to the combined effects of these two factors, when comparing the differences between 2009 published data and earlier reference periods caution is needed as the difference may not reflect genuine movements. The Technical Note identifies 'actual' movements where it has been possible to derive this, and readers are referred to page 96 for further information to assist in interpreting data movements.
Other changes include: the reinstatement of national victim counts for sexual assault; Indigenous data for Queensland; an increased range of weapons used in the commission of an offence for the time series table; an increased range of locations where an offence occurred, and a time series table for location where an offence occurred.
Discrepancies may occur between sums of component items and totals across tables due to rounding and randomisation.
INFORMATION ON ABS CRIME AND JUSTICE
More information about the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) activities in the field of crime and justice statistics is available from the Crime and Justice theme page on the ABS website. Details of other ABS publications relating to crime and justice statistics can be found in paragraph 146 of the Explanatory Notes.
The ABS acknowledges the valuable contribution of the Board of Management of the National Crime Statistics Unit (NCSU), the National Crime Statistics Advisory Group and the staff of the various agencies that provide the statistics that are presented in this publication.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Robert Letheby on Melbourne (03) 9615 7423.