Crime Statistics Collection (National)

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)


    The National Crime Statistics Unit (NCSU) was set up following request from Australian Police Minister's Council (APMC)


    To provide a national view of crime in Australia, as well as comparable data across States and Territories.


    National offence categories include homicide and related offences (murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, driving causing death), assault, sexual assault, kidnapping/abduction, robbery, blackmail/extortion, unlawful entry with intent, motor vehicle theft and other theft. With the exception of motor vehicle theft, statistics for the offence categories in the national crime statistics collection reltae to completed offences and attempted offences. The collection excludes conspriacy offences, threats to commit offences and aid, abet and accessory offences. Offences may include those which, at a later point in time, are determined to be unfounded or are withdrawn


    Conceptual framework

    By applying conisistent national standards to the counting and recording of selected offence in each jurisdictions, the Recorded Crime collection provides a national view of recorded crime. It also allows comparisons between States and Territories. The statistics do not provide a total picture of crime as not all recorded crime is in-scope of the Recorded Crime collection and not all crime which occurs comes to the attention of police. Also, police may not record all incidents reported to them as crime.

    Main outputs

    The publication presents national crime statistics relating to victims of a selected range of offences that have been recorded by police. Outputs include:

    • victim counts for selected offences (for Australia and States/Territories)
    • victim details (age of victim, sex of victim, relationship of offender to victim, for offences where the victim is a person)
    • type of location where the criminal incident occurred
    • use of weapon in the commission of the offence
    • outcome of police investigations after 30 days


    The main classification used is the classification of offence - Australian National Classification of Offences was used from '93 to '98 inclusive. It was replaced by Australian Standard Offence Classification from '99 onwards.

    Additional classification structures are used for relationship, type of location, type of weapon and outcome of investigation. The classifications are hierarchical and allow for different levels of detail to be recorded depending on the level of detail in the source information. Associated with each classification are coding rules which ensure that the counting of information is consistent across States and Territories.

    Other concepts (summary)

    Recorded crime statistics measure the number of victims per national offences category for offences recorded by police during the reference period. The national counting rule is that each victim within a distinct criminal incident is counted once to the most serious offence within each national offence caegory. The most serious offence within the national offence category is the one with the lowest ASOC code.

    With the exception of motor vehicle theft, statistics for offence categories relate to completed offences and attempted offences (i.e. where the intent is not fulfilled). Attempted motor vehicle theft is not included in the collection due to difficulties in distinguishing these offences from criminal damage.

    1. National & State/Territory\1.01 Australia
    1. National & State/Territory\1.02 All States & Territories

    Comments and/or Other Regions


    Frequency comments


    • Stage 1 Jan '93 - collected and published 11 national offences categories (murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, driving causing death, sexual assault, kidnapping/abduction, armed robbery, unarmed robbery, blackmail/extortion, unlawful entry with intent (UEWI), motor vehicle theft), type of location where the offence occurred and use of weapon.
    • Stage 2 Jan '95 - introduced additional offences of assault and other theft and disaggregated UEWI into UEWI involving the taking of property and UEWI - other. Age and sex of victim, and relationship of offender to victim were also introduced.,
    • Stage 3 Jul '96 - introduced outcome of police investigation for selected offences.
    • Australian Standard Offence Classification replaced the Australian National Classsification of Offences in Jan '99.


    Data availability comments

    Data is released annually in May. The period for the collection is the calendar year prior to release. Hard copy publication and companion data available on ABS@.

    16/05/2002 07:52 AM