4530.0 - Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2009–10 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/02/2011   
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For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


Data on Crime Victimisation were collected as part of the 2009-10 Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS). The MPHS is a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and is designed to collect annual statistics on a small number of self-contained topics. The scope of the LFS is restricted to people aged 15 years and over and excludes members of the permanent defence forces; certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments usually excluded from census and estimated resident populations; overseas residents in Australia; and members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants). Refer to Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for further information regarding the LFS. In addition, the 2009-10 MPHS excluded people living in very remote parts of Australia and people living in non-private dwellings such as hotels, university residences, students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities), and inmates of prisons.

In the Crime Victimisation component of the MPHS, respondents aged 15 years and over (or 18 years and over for incidents of sexual assault) were asked questions about their experience of crime victimisation. The type of information collected included perceptions of social disorder in their local area and their experience of selected personal crimes (physical assault, threatened assault, robbery and sexual assault) and selected household crimes (break-ins, attempted break-ins, motor vehicle theft, theft from a motor vehicle, malicious property damage and other theft). Information was collected from one person selected at random in each selected household


The 2009-10 MPHS was collected from July 2009 to June 2010. The survey reference period was the 12 months prior to the survey interview. Data from the survey are released in February 2011, approximately eight months after completion of enumeration.

Crime Victimisation questions were asked of the full MPHS sample of 28,554 fully responding households. The exclusion of people living in very remote parts of Australia had only a minor impact on aggregate estimates, except for the Northern Territory where these people accounted for about 23% of the population.

Two types of error are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error. Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures. Non-sampling error also arises because information cannot be obtained from all persons selected in the survey.

Sampling error occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. One measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all dwellings in the survey is given by the standard error. There are about two chances in three a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included in the survey, and about 19 chances in 20 the difference will be less than two standard errors. Measures of the relative standard error for this survey are included with this release.


The ABS conducted National Crime and Safety Surveys in 1975, 1983, 1993, 1998, 2002 and 2005. In 2006-07, a review of the crime surveys found the need for more timely and regular crime victimisation headline indicators (on an annual basis), and the need for flexibility to cater for new and emerging areas of crime.

In 2008-09, a redesigned ABS Crime Victimisation Survey was conducted in Australia which sought information on people's experience as a victim of both personal and household crimes. In addition, a module seeking information on people's feelings of safety in particular situations was also included. This survey was largely repeated for the period 2009-10 although the social disorder module replaced the feelings of safety module. For 2009-10, data for all but the social disorder module can be compared with 2008-09. Differences in survey methodology and enumeration periods as well as changes to many of the questions being asked means that data from both the 2008-09 and 2009-10 Crime Victimisation Surveys are not comparable with earlier ABS crime surveys.

These differences mean that a time series is only possible for the period 2008-09 and beyond. Consistent with the findings of the review of ABS crime surveys, the national Crime Victimisation Survey is expected to be conducted annually from 2008-09 using the MPHS.

The terms used to describe the various types of offences in this publication may not necessarily correspond with legal or police definitions.


The Crime Victimisation, Australia (cat. no.4530.0) publication contains tables with footnoted data and a Summary of Findings to aid interpretation of the survey's results. Detailed Explanatory Notes, a Technical Note and a Glossary are also included to provide information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.


In addition to the Adobe PDF publication, the tables and associated relative standard errors are available in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet form on the website. Tables are also available at the State and Territory level on the website.

Additional data may be available on request. For a list of data items see the 'Downloads' tab of the publication. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors and, in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.

An expanded confidentialised unit record file, Microdata: Crime Victimisation Expanded CURF (cat. no. 4530.0.55.002) will be produced for the Crime Victimisation Survey and is expected to be released in March 2011. For further details refer to the Services, CURF Microdata section on the ABS website.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Centre on 1300 135 070.