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1234.0.55.001 - National Offence Index, 2009  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/07/2009   
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The National Offence Index (NOI) was based on the Offence Seriousness Index developed by the Crime Research Centre (CRC) in Western Australia. The CRC Index was developed based on research conducted into public perceptions of offence seriousness and consideration of legislated sentences. The CRC Index was first developed in 1991, and subsequently reviewed in 1998 following the introduction of ASOC.

The ABS developed NOI by building on the 1998 version of the CRC Index, using data from the 2001-02 Higher Criminal Courts collection to refine the ordering by seriousness. The severity of sentences handed down to adjudicated finalised defendants were analysed to establish a principal offence for defendants. Consultation with practitioner and advisory groups in crime, courts and corrective services, resulted in further changes to the ranking of selected offences. Use of NOI resulted in significant data quality improvements and increased ease of analysis, particularly with respect to the representation of global sentencing in criminal courts statistics. NOI was first applied in the ABS 2001-02 Criminal Courts collection. For further information regarding the development of NOI refer to Appendix 5 in Criminal Courts, Australia, 2001-02 (cat. no. 4513.0).

NOI was reviewed in 2008-09 following the release of the second edition of ASOC (2008) to ensure the continued compatibility between ASOC and NOI and to reflect a changed profile and perceived seriousness of some offences. External consultations were undertaken with a range of users in the crime and justice field to determine the appropriate ordering of offence groups in order to reflect a more contemporary view of the changes in perceived seriousness of crimes. Changes to the second edition of ASOC included the deletion, addition and modification of ASOC groups that comprise NOI.

NOI is now used in a range of ABS crime and justice collections and is available for use more broadly by other agencies that produce statistical data.

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