4510.0 - Recorded Crime, Australia, 1999  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/06/2000   
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June 28, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Robbery down first time in 7 years - ABS Figures

According to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today, 1999 is the first time in seven years that there was a decrease in the number of robbery victims recorded, from a high of 23,801 victims in 1998 to 22,590 victims in 1999.

The number of victims of crime recorded by police in Australia decreased in all offence categories from 1998 to 1999, except for murder (increasing by 20 per cent), theft other than motor vehicle theft (increasing by 8.3 per cent), kidnapping/abduction (increasing by 8.2 per cent) and assault (increasing by 2.1 per cent).

Murder victims increased by 20 per cent, from 285 victims in 1998 to 342 victims in 1999. This translates into an increase in murder victimisation from 15 victims per million people in 1998 to 18 victims per million people in 1999. Of the murder victims in 1999, 21 victims were accounted for by the discovery of 12 bodies in Snowtown, South Australia and nine victims related to two family murder/suicide incidents in Western Australia.

Property crimes included unlawful entry with intent and theft (motor vehicle and other) and in 1999 these crimes represented 87 per cent of the total victims of crime for the offence categories included in this publication. Theft (not including motor vehicle theft) was the most commonly recorded crime in Australia, with a victimisation rate of 3,218 victims per 100,000 people.

Other findings in Recorded Crime, Australia, 1999 include:
  • The number of attempted murder victims decreased by 7.5 per cent in Australia, from 387 victims in 1998 to 358 victims in 1999. However, the number of attempted murders involving a firearm increased to a seven-year high of 32 per cent from 1993.
  • During 1999, there were 133,602 victims of assault in Australia and 57 per cent of these victims were males. Males were more likely to be victims of assault than females in all age groups.
  • Of all sexual assault victims, four in five were females, and almost one in two were females aged under 20 years.
  • The number of robberies involving a firearm has also decreased to a seven-year low of 6.3 per cent compared to 16 per cent in 1993.
  • Unlawful entry with intent (UEWI) offences are often referred to as burglary or break and enter. During 1999, Australian police recorded 415,600 victims of these offences, representing a 4.3 per cent decrease from 1998. UEWI involving the taking of property accounted for 78 per cent (322,913) of the total number of UEWI offences.
  • During 1999, the number of motor vehicles stolen decreased by 1.3 per cent from 1998, with a rate of 685 motor vehicles per 100,000 persons.

Further details are in Recorded Crime, Australia, 1999 (cat. no 4510.0) available from ABS bookshops. For a more comprehensive picture of the nature and extent of crime in Australia and the way that crime affects the Australian community, please refer to Crime and Safety Survey, Australia 1998 (cat. no. 4509.0).

The publication's main findings are available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.

Please Note: Statistics presented in Recorded Crime, Australia may be different to those published by individual police services, owing to variations in definitions and counting rules.