4519.0 - Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2015-16  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/02/2017   
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KEY FINDINGS
  • The number of offenders proceeded against by police in Australia during 2015–16 increased for the fourth consecutive year to total 422,067 offenders, an increase of 1% (or 5,016 offenders) from 2014–15.
  • However, after adjusting for population growth, there was little change in the national offender rate with 2,023 offenders per 100,000 persons aged 10 years and over, compared to an offender rate of 2,027 in 2014–15.
  • Since the beginning of the time series in 2008–09 the number of offenders has increased by 12% (or 46,474 offenders). Over the same period the offender rate increased by less than 1% (from 2,006 to 2,023 offenders per 100,000 persons aged 10 years and over).


OFFENDER NUMBERS INCREASED IN ALMOST ALL STATES AND TERRITORIES
  • Victoria was the only state or territory in which the number of offenders decreased between 2014–15 and 2015–16, with a decrease of 3,163 offenders (or 4%).
  • Over the same period the number of offenders increased in:
      • New South Wales (by 3,905 offenders or 3%)
      • South Australia (by 2,254 offenders or 5%)
      • Western Australia (by 1,322 or 3%)
      • Northern Territory (by 279 offenders or 2%)
      • Queensland (by 245 offenders or 0.2%)
      • Australian Capital Territory (by 125 offenders or 5%)
      • Tasmania (by 49 offenders or 0.5%)
  • New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria accounted for the majority of offenders proceeded against by police in 2015–16:
      • New South Wales 30% (128,397 offenders)
      • Queensland 24% (100,539 offenders)
      • Victoria 18% (77,770 offenders)

Graph Image for PROPORTION OF OFFENDERS, States and territories, 2015-16

Source(s): Recorded Crime - Offenders


FEMALE OFFENDER NUMBERS INCREASED

Between 2014–15 and 2015–16:
  • The number of female offenders increased by 5% nationally to total 97,304.
  • The female offender rate increased by 4% to total 923 offenders per 100,000 females aged 10 years and over.
  • The principal offences that contributed most to the increase in female offenders were: Theft (which increased by 12%), Illicit drug offences (8%) and Acts intended to cause injury (6%).
  • The number of male offenders remained relatively stable (increasing by 49 offenders to 323,949).

Graph Image for FEMALE OFFENDERS, Selected principal offence

Source(s): Recorded Crime - Offenders


ILLICIT DRUG OFFENCES WAS THE MOST COMMON PRINCIPAL OFFENCE
  • In 2015–16 the most common principal offence nationally was Illicit drug offences (20% or 83,160 offenders).
  • The number of offenders with a principal offence of Illicit drug offences has increased by 48% since the start of the time series in 2008–09 when there were 56,304 recorded offenders.
  • The principal offence of the majority of offenders in this division (67% in 2015–16) was Possess and/or use illicit drugs.
  • Persons aged 20–24 years had the highest offender rate by age group for Illicit drug offences with 1,066 offenders per 100,000 persons.