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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/01/2006   
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Contents >> Chapter 11 - Crime and justice >> Crimes recorded by police

CRIMES RECORDED BY POLICE

The number of victims recorded by Australian police declined in most offence categories in 2004 when compared with 2003. Victims of the following offence categories recorded a decrease: homicide and related offences (18%); robbery (16%); unlawful entry with intent (13%); other theft (12%), motor vehicle theft (11%); and blackmail/extortion (4%). Victims of kidnapping/abduction recorded an increase (10%). Variation from year to year is likely to be higher for both homicide and related offences and kidnapping/abduction due to small numbers.

Graph 11.13 shows the percentage change between 2003 and 2004 in the number of victims of selected offences.

Graph 11.13: VICTIMS(a), Percentage change in number - 2003 to 2004


Other theft (which includes theft from persons, retail premises and motor vehicles) continues to have the largest number of victims. In 2004, there were 547,800 recorded victims of other theft, a decrease of just over 76,000 since 2003 (table 11.14).


In 2004, the victimisation rates for unlawful entry with intent (1,534 per 100,000 population), motor vehicle theft (437 per 100,000 population) and homicide and related offences (4 per 100,000 population) were the lowest since national reporting began in 1993. The victimisation rate for robbery (82 per 100,000 population) was the lowest since 1996.

11.14 VICTIMS AND VICTIMISATION RATES(a), By selected offences

1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004

NUMBER

Homicide and related offences
969
1,020
1,066
979
958
789
Murder
344
316
310
318
302
256
Attempted murder
360
393
459
399
361
307
Manslaughter
41
46
37
48
39
37
Driving causing death
224
265
260
214
256
189
Kidnapping/abduction
766
695
767
706
696
768
Robbery
22,606
23,336
26,591
20,989
19,709
16,490
Armed robbery
9,452
9,483
11,233
7,840
7,189
5,993
Unarmed robbery
13,154
13,853
15,358
13,149
12,520
10,497
Blackmail/extortion
254
255
358
355
386
370
Unlawful entry with intent
415,735
436,968
435,754
394,323
354,020
308,368
Property theft(b)
322,983
n.a.
325,220
292,748
262,657
224,638
Other(b)
92,752
n.a.
110,534
101,575
91,363
83,730
Motor vehicle theft(c)
129,552
138,912
139,894
113,460
98,298
87,916
Other theft(d)
612,559
681,268
700,137
680,799
624,036
547,800

RATE(e)

Homicide and related offences
5.1
5.3
5.5
5.0
4.8
3.9
Murder
1.8
1.6
1.6
1.6
1.5
1.3
Attempted murder
1.9
2.1
2.4
2.0
1.8
1.5
Manslaughter
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
Driving causing death
1.2
1.4
1.3
1.1
1.3
0.9
Kidnapping/abduction
4.0
3.6
4.0
3.6
3.5
3.8
Robbery
119.4
121.8
137.0
106.9
99.2
82.0
Armed robbery
49.9
49.5
57.9
39.9
36.2
29.8
Unarmed robbery
69.5
72.3
79.1
67.0
63.0
52.2
Blackmail/extortion
1.3
1.3
1.8
1.8
1.9
1.8
Unlawful entry with intent
2,195.7
2,281.3
2,244.9
2,007.9
1,781.7
1,533.5
Property theft(b)
1,705.8
n.a.
1,675.5
1,490.7
1,321.9
1,117.1
Other(b)
489.9
n.a.
569.5
517.2
459.8
416.4
Motor vehicle theft(c)
684.2
725.2
720.7
577.7
494.7
437.2
Other theft(d)
3,235.2
3,556.8
3,607.0
3,466.7
3,140.6
2,724.2


(a) Recorded by police in all jurisdictions. Depending on the type of offence recorded, a victim may be a person, a premise, an organisation or a motor vehicle. (b) A change in the legislation related to unlawful entry with intent (UEWI) offences in South Australia resulted in an inability to provide UEWI disaggregated into property theft and other for 2000. (c) Prior to 2002, Northern Territory police incorrectly included theft of motor vehicle parts and contents and some theft n.e.c. in the count of motor vehicle theft. Since 2002, these offences were correctly included in the other theft offence category. (d) Prior to 2004, counts of UEWI involving the taking of property were included in this offence category as well as in other theft for South Australia. The 2003 data for other theft have been revised to exclude counts of UEWI involving the taking of property, resulting in a break in the time series for other theft. (e) Per 100,000 persons.

Source: Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2004 (4510.0).

PERSONAL CRIME

Kidnapping/abduction has remained stable at approximately 4 victims per 100,000 persons since 1999. There were 256 victims of murder in 2004, a rate of 1 murder victim per 100,000 persons. The homicide and related offences rate continued to decline from approximately 5 victims per 100,000 persons in 2003 to 4 victims per 100,000 persons in 2004.

PROPERTY CRIME

Unlawful entry with intent (UEWI) and other theft were the most frequently occurring property offences. The UEWI victimisation rate decreased by 30%, from 2,196 victims per 100,000 persons in 1999 to 1,534 victims per 100,000 persons in 2004. The victimisation rate for motor vehicle theft was at its lowest rate since 1993. The 2004 motor vehicle theft rate of 437 victims per 100,000 persons was 12% lower than in the previous year (495 victims per 100,000 persons) and 36% lower than in 1999 (684 victims per 100,000 persons). The victimisation rate for other theft decreased by 13% between 2003 and 2004.

CHARACTERISTICS OF VICTIMS

Males aged 15-19 years had a victimisation rate of 3.4 per 100,000 persons for driving causing death, which was almost three times the rate for females in this age group and more than three times the rate for the general population. (table 11.16).

The victimisation rate for kidnapping/abduction was highest in the 15-19 year age group at 13.2 per 100,000 persons, which was more than three times the rate for the general population. In particular, females in this age group were four times (21.9 per 100,000 persons) more likely to be victims of kidnapping/abduction than females in all age groups. Males in this same age group were twice (4.5 per 100,000 persons) as likely to be victims of kidnapping/abduction than males in all age groups. The highest rate for male victims of kidnapping/abduction was in the 10-14 year age group (6.6 per 100,000 persons).

People aged 15-19 years were more than three times likely to be victims of robbery than the general population. The victimisation rate for robbery was highest in the 20-24 year age group for females (100.8 per 100,000 persons) but highest in the 15-19 year age group for males (342.2 per 100,000 persons), as shown in table 11.15.

11.15 VICTIMISATION RATES(a) OF SELECTED CRIMES(b) - 2004

Offence category

Age group (years)
Murder
Attempted
murder
Driving
causing death
Kidnapping/
abduction
Robbery(c)
Blackmail/
extortion(c)

MALES

0-9
1.2
0.5
0.2
3.4
2.8
-
10-14
-
-
-
6.6
77.4
0.6
15-19
1.3
2.8
3.4
4.5
342.2
3.3
20-24
1.9
3.5
1.9
3.8
258.5
3.6
25-34
1.9
4.7
0.8
2.6
129.1
2.9
35-44
2.7
2.7
0.6
0.8
70.5
3.0
45-54
1.5
2.1
0.9
0.9
48.7
2.6
55-64
0.9
1.1
0.6
0.3
31.8
1.7
65 and over
0.8
-
0.5
-
16.6
1.2
All ages(d)
1.6
2.2
0.9
2.3
93.4
2.2

FEMALES

0-9
0.8
0.4
-
4.2
0.8
-
10-14
0.4
-
-
13.2
17.6
0.4
15-19
0.9
0.9
1.2
21.9
95.6
1.6
20-24
0.9
0.7
1.0
11.2
100.8
3.2
25-34
1.2
1.5
0.3
4.7
64.5
1.2
35-44
1.1
1.0
0.3
2.1
41.8
1.1
45-54
0.9
0.9
0.6
0.9
37.3
1.1
55-64
0.6
0.3
0.5
0.3
30.6
0.7
65 and over
0.6
0.2
-
-
21.3
0.4
All ages(d)
0.9
0.8
0.4
5.2
43.0
1.0

PERSONS

0-9
1.0
0.5
0.1
3.8
1.8
-
10-14
0.2
-
-
9.8
48.5
0.5
15-19
1.1
1.9
2.3
13.2
222.9
2.5
20-24
1.4
2.3
1.5
7.4
182.1
3.4
25-34
1.6
3.1
0.6
3.6
97.3
2.0
35-44
1.9
1.9
0.5
1.4
56.3
2.1
45-54
1.2
1.5
0.7
0.9
43.2
1.9
55-64
0.8
0.7
0.5
0.3
31.3
1.2
65 and over
0.7
0.1
0.2
-
19.5
0.8
All ages(d)
1.3
1.5
0.9
3.8
68.9
1.7

(a) Victims per 100,000 persons.
(b) As recorded by police forces in all jurisdictions.
(c) Refers to person victims only and therefore does not include organisations as victims.
(d) Includes victims for whom age and/or sex was not specified.

Source: Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2004 (4510.0).

WEAPONS USED AGAINST VICTIMS OF CRIME

In 2004, a weapon was most likely to have been used in attempted murder (73%) and murder (59%). A knife was the most common type of weapon used and was involved in 32% of attempted murders, 28% of murders, 18% of robberies and 6% of kidnappings/abductions. A firearm was involved in 23% of attempted murders, 13% of murders, 6% of robberies and 2% of kidnappings/abductions.

The proportion of murders involving a weapon peaked in 1996 at 78%, while the proportion of attempted murders involving a weapon peaked in 1997 at 87%. The proportion of robberies in which a weapon was used increased from 36% in 1995 to 46% in 1998 and has since generally declined to 36% in 2004 (graph 11.16).

Graph 11.16: VICTIMS(a), Weapon used in commission of selected offences


11.17 VICTIMS(a), By use of weapon in commission of selected offences - 2004

Offence category

Weapon used
Murder
Attempted
murder
Kidnapping/
abduction
Robbery

NUMBER

Weapon used
Firearm
33
70
18
903
Knife
71
98
48
2,953
Syringe
-
-
-
327
Other weapon
36
45
19
1,077
Total(b)
152
225
98
5,993
No weapon used(c)
105
82
669
10,497
Total
257
307
767
16,490

PROPORTION (%)

Weapon used
Firearm
12.8
22.8
2.3
5.5
Knife
27.6
31.9
6.3
17.9
Syringe
-
-
-
2.0
Other weapon
14.0
14.7
2.5
6.5
Total(b)
59.1
73.3
12.8
36.3
No weapon used(c)
40.9
26.7
87.2
63.7
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

(a) For the offence of robbery, a victim may be a person or an organisation.
(b) Includes offences where a weapon was used but was not further defined.
(c) Includes offences where weapon use was not known or not stated.

Source: Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2004 (4510.0).


Firearms used in attempted murders in 2004 accounted for 23% of offences, marginally above its low of 19% in 1998, and well below its high of 32% in 1999. The proportion of murders involving a firearm was 13% in 2004, decreasing significantly since 1996 when 32% of murders involved a firearm. The proportion of robberies involving a firearm, decreased from a high of 10% in 1997 to 6% in 2000, and has been stable in the period 2000-04, at around 6%. (graph 11.18).

Graph 11.18: VICTIMS, Firearm used in commission of selected offences


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