4530.0.55.001 - Technical Manual: Crime Victimisation, Expanded CURF, Australia, 2009–10 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/03/2011  First Issue
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All
  • Quality Declaration - Summary



Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) are released in accordance with the conditions specified in the Statistics Determination section of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 (CSA). This ensures that confidentiality is maintained whilst enabling micro level data to be released. More information on the confidentiality practices associated with CURFs can be found in How is CURF data confidentialised?.

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.


Crime and justice statistics provide measures of the levels and effects of criminal activity, as well as people's perceptions of their safety or their perceptions about social disorder in their local area. These are issues that impact directly or indirectly on the quality of people's lives and are seen as key indicators of, and contributors to, the wellbeing of society.

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 provide annual statistics for a number of small, self-contained topics. Information was collected from one person selected at random in each selected household.

The Crime Victimisation topic contains information collected from people aged 15 years and over about their own and their household's experience of selected crimes in the 12 months prior to the survey and the reporting of those crimes to police. The survey also sought respondents' perceptions about social disorder in their local area. Details were collected on the following crimes:

  • Personal crimes – assault, threatened assault (including face-to-face and non face-to-face), robbery and sexual assault. (Note: Sexual assault information was only collected from persons aged 18 years and over).
  • Household crimes – break-ins, attempted break-ins, motor vehicle theft, theft from a motor vehicle, other theft and malicious property damage.

Other information available from the survey includes the characteristics of the victim, broad characteristics of the offender and the characteristics of the most recent incident such as location. In addition to the information about Crime Victimisation, the survey also collected general socio-demographic data such as age, sex, educational qualifications, labour force status, occupation and industry of current main job, and personal and household income.

Information describing the level of detail provided on the CURF can be referenced in the data item list.


The 2009–10 MPHS sample was accumulated over the twelve month period from July 2009 to June 2010. Initial summary results from the survey were published on 17 February 2011 in Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2009–10 (cat. no. 4530.0). The CURF is generally released around two months after the release of the initial summary publication. The next Crime Victimisation CURF, from the 2010–11 MPHS, is expected to be released around April 2012.

The Crime Victimisation topic included in the 2009–10 MPHS is the second in a new series of regular Crime Victimisation surveys to be conducted by the ABS. The first survey was conducted in the 2008–09 MPHS and the CURF containing that data was released in July 2010 (Microdata: Multipurpose Household Survey, Expanded CURF, Australia, 2008–09 (cat. no. 4100.0.55.001)).


The Crime Victimisation CURF contains individual person level data (unit records or microdata). Microdata are the most detailed information available from a survey and are generally the answers to most individual questions on the questionnaire or the data derived from the responses to two or more questions. Consequently, the CURF contains much finer levels of detail for most data items than what is otherwise published. For more information on the level of detail provided in the CURF, please refer to the data item list.

Steps to confidentialise the data made available on the CURF have been taken in such a way so as to maximise the usefulness of the content while at the same time maintaining the confidentiality of the respondents in the survey. As a result, it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all the statistics produced from the CURF with published statistics.

All sample surveys are subject to error which can be broadly categorised as either sampling error or non-sampling error.

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 that 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 nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two standard errors.

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.

For more information on the survey methodology, concepts and definitions see Technical Manual: Crime Victimisation, Expanded CURF, Australia, 2009–10 (cat. no. 4530.0.55.001).


The Crime Victimisation topic included in the 2009–10 MPHS is the second in a new series of regular Crime Victimisation surveys to be conducted by the ABS. The first survey in this series was conducted in the 2008–09 MPHS. Most of the questions relating to Crime Victimisation asked in the 2008–09 MPHS have been repeated in 2009–10. Therefore, because a similar methodology has been adopted for both surveys, data on the prevalence of personal and household crimes are comparable across these two periods.

The new series was introduced following a review of the Crime and Safety surveys conducted by the ABS which resulted in a major re-design of the collection methodology. The new method of collection mainly uses personal telephone interviews of selected respondents. Previous data collections since 1990 required respondents to self complete questionnaires and mail these back to the ABS. This difference in the mode of collection and other changes to survey questions, means that the data collected using the MPHS are not comparable with data collected from the crime and safety related surveys undertaken in previous years.

The redeveloped Crime Victimisation series has resulted in improved methodology, more timely headline indicators about the level of Crime Victimisation in Australia and flexibility to cater for new and emerging areas of crime. The Explanatory Notes section in Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2009–10 (cat. no. 4530.0) provides further information about changes to the survey.


The Technical Manual: Crime Victimisation, Expanded CURF, Australia, 2009–10 (cat. no. 4530.0.55.001) is the key source for reference when using the CURF. It includes information about survey objectives, methods and design; survey content; data quality and interpretation; information about comparability with previous surveys; and the content of the CURF files. The Excel spreadsheet that accompanies the Technical Manual contains a complete list of all the data items included on the CURF. Further information about the survey can also be found in the Explanatory Notes section of the summary publication Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2009–10 (cat. no. 4530.0).


CURFs can only be accessed by organisations or individuals who have been given prior approval by the ABS. An application to access a particular CURF can be submitted through the ABS's secure on-line CURF application and management system MiCRO. Information about the steps required to apply for CURF access is provided in Technical Manual: Managing ABS Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs): a Step by Step Guide, Aug 2009 (cat. no. 1406.0.55.004). All CURF users are required to read and abide by the 'Responsible Access to ABS Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) Training Manual' (cat. no. 1406.0.55.003). A full list of all available CURFs can be viewed via the Expected and available Microdata.

The Crime Victimisation Expanded CURF can be accessed through the ABS Remote Access Data Laboratory (RADL) or the ABS Data Laboratory (ABSDL). Further details regarding types and modes of access to CURFs can be found in CURF Access Modes and Levels of Detail.

The CURF Microdata Entry page contains links to all the information required for understanding and accessing CURFs. However, if other information is required, please contact the Microdata Access Strategies Section of the ABS at <email: <microdata.access@abs.gov.au> or phone: (02) 6252 7714.