4509.1 - Crime and Safety, New South Wales, Apr 2008 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/12/2008   
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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.


The NSW Crime and Safety Survey provides information on selected types of personal and household crime. Household crimes include break and enter, attempted
break and enter and motor vehicle theft. Personal crimes include robbery, assault and sexual assault.

The survey was conducted as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Monthly Population Survey (MPS). It includes all persons aged 15 years and over except members of the permanent defence forces, certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, overseas residents in Australia, members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants) stationed in Australia, private dwellings containing visitors only and residents of non-private dwellings such as hospitals, motels and prisons.

Crime and Safety questionnaires were mailed out to households who were included in the MPS, and who were in scope for the Crime and Safety survey. There were two rounds of mail-out reminders for non-responding households, followed by a telephone follow-up interview for a proportion of the remaining non-responding households.


The Crime and Safety Survey was conducted as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey in the two weeks commencing 7 April 2008. The survey reference (or recall) period was the previous 12 months. Results from this survey are released approximately eight months after the collection period. The survey is an irregular survey and there are currently no plans to release another publication in the future.


The 2008 Crime and Safety Survey was conducted using half of the full sample of private dwellings in the MPS. In previous years, the survey was conducted using
seven-eighths of the full sample of private dwellings in the MPS.

The number of households enumerated for the NSW Crime and Safety Survey was approximately 2,600. The response rate was 80%.

Two types of error can occur in estimates that are based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error. Both of these could have affected the data in this publication. To assist users in understanding the estimate of these errors, relative standard errors (RSEs) are provided in the datacube for every data cell in publication tables. For further information please refer to the Technical Note.

The Crime and Safety Survey was designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level however broad estimates are available for labour force regions. Users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors.


The NSW Crime and Safety Survey has been run on an irregular basis since 1990.

Since 1999, additional questions about robbery incidents have been included which has caused a break in the time series for robbery estimates published from the NSW Crime and Safety Surveys conducted in 1997 and earlier years.

Comparisons with results from the 1998, 2002 and 2005 National Crime and Safety Surveys for all offences should be undertaken with caution. Differences in question wording and processing procedures mean that survey estimates are not directly comparable.

Caution should be taken when making comparisons with other ABS surveys that address crime and justice issues. There is an Information Paper: Measuring Crime Victimisation, Australia: The Impact of Different Collection Methodologies (cat. no.4522.0.55.001) which helps to explain the nature of crime measurement in Australia and why the findings from different data sources may differ.

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


The Crime and Safety Survey is considered an irregular survey. Therefore the estimates are only available as original series and are not seasonally or trend adjusted.

The Crime and Safety, New South Wales publication contains tables with footnoted data and a Summary of Findings to aid interpretation of the results of the survey. Detailed Explanatory Notes, a Technical Note and a Glossary are also included providing information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.


Data from the 2008 NSW Crime and Safety Survey are available in a variety of formats. The formats available free of charge on the ABS website include an Adobe PDF version of the publication and a data cube in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format.

Additional data may be available on request. For a list of data items available see the Appendix 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.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Anne Bartlett on (02) 9268 4166.