4510.0 - Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/06/2010   
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GLOSSARY

Armed robbery

See Robbery.

Assault

The direct (and immediate/confrontational) infliction of force, injury or violence upon a person or persons, or the direct (and immediate/confrontational) threat of force, injury or violence where there is an apprehension that the threat could be enacted.

Attempted murder

The attempted unlawful killing of another person where there is either the intent to kill or to cause grievous bodily harm with the knowledge that it was probable that death or grievous bodily harm would occur (reckless indifference to life) but where death did not actually occur.

Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC)

The ASOC is a hierarchical classification developed by the ABS for use in the collection and publication of crime and justice statistics. It provides a classificatory framework for the comparison of statistics on offences across Australia. The 2008 version of ASOC is used for offence classification in this publication. Data prior to 2009 was collected on an ASOC 1997 basis.

Bat/bar/club

See Weapon.

Blackmail/extortion

The unlawful demanding with intent to gain money, property or any other benefit from, or with intent to cause detriment to, another person accompanied by the use of coercive measures, to be carried out at some point in the future if the demand is not met. This may also include the use and/or threatened use of face-to-face force or violence, provided there is a threat of continued violence if the demand is not met.

Coercive measures include, but are not limited to the threat of:

  • force of violence
  • the misuse of authority
  • criminal prosecution
  • the destruction of a person's reputation or social standing
  • the destruction of a person's property.

Bottle/glass

See Weapon.

Chemical

See Weapon.

Firearm

See Weapon.

Homicide and related offences

The unlawful killing or the attempted unlawful killing of another person. This includes the ASOC groups of Murder (0111), Attempted murder (0121) and Manslaughter (0131). For Recorded Crime - Victims output, this excludes conspiracy to murder offences and Driving causing death (0132).

Indexed rate

An index is a convenient way of comparing values over time. The index allows comparison of two values of recorded crime for a common offence within a jurisdiction. Indexes are provided to assist in interpreting change over time within jurisdictions. Indexes should not be used to make direct comparisons between jurisdictions. For this publication, the indexes refer to victimisation rates per 100,000 persons and 2001 has been selected as the base year. For more information see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 54-57.

Indigenous status

This data item indicates whether the victim is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. An Aboriginal person is defined as a person who: is a descendant of an Indigenous inhabitant whose traditional cultures and lands lie on the mainland and most of the islands of Australia; identifies as an Aboriginal; and is recognised as Aboriginal by members of the community in which she or he lives. In statistical and most administrative collections, it is not feasible to collect information on the community acceptance component of the definition, therefore, the community acceptance criterion is not included in the operational definition. Torres Strait Islanders are the descendants of the Indigenous people of the Torres Strait, between the tip of Cape York and Papua New Guinea.

Victims of crime may be asked the Standard Indigenous Question when providing an initial report or when they are interviewed. In certain circumstances, at the discretion of a police officer, the Standard Indigenous Question may not be asked of victims. Next of kin/guardians may also provide the information in situations where a person cannot respond on their own behalf, or it is not appropriate to do so.

The following broad categories of Indigenous Status are used in this publication:
  • Indigenous: This includes victims who identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin;
  • Non-Indigenous: This includes victims who identify as neither Aboriginal nor Torres Strait Islander origin;
  • Not stated: This includes victims where Indigenous status was not obtained, for example through the question not being asked or a response not being supplied.

For more information on the Indigenous Status Standard see Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity, 1999 (cat. no. 1289.0).

Kidnapping/abduction

The unlawful taking away of another person against their will, or against the will of any parent, guardian or other person having lawful custody or care of that person.

Knife

See Weapon.

Location

The initial site where an offence occurred, determined on the basis of use or function. Any surrounding land, yard or parking area connected to the building or facility, as well as any other structures existing at the location are assigned to the same category of use. Locations which are multifunctional are categorised according to their primary function, with the exception of a multifunctional location which includes the provision of residential accommodation. Those parts used for residential purposes are classified to 'residential' regardless of the main function of the location. Thus, a residential college within university grounds is coded to 'residential' and not 'educational'. The following are categories of locations:
  • Residential: a permanent or semi-permanent dwelling used for private or commercial residential purposes.
  • Dwelling: a room or a suite of rooms which may or may not be self contained. It can be a house, flat, a tent or residential quarters attached to shops or offices. This can also include motels, hostels, nursing homes, etc.
  • Outbuilding/residential land: excluding dwellings, this is buildings or land which lie within the boundaries of the residential location. Examples include carports, clothes lines, garages both attached and unattached, gazebo, etc.
  • Community: locations where the primary activity is the provision of services for public use. Includes schools and other educational facilities; hospitals and other health facilities; churches and other religious establishments; car parks, buses, trains, terminals and other transport facilities; police stations, court houses, and other justice facilities; streets and footpaths; and open space not reserved for specific functions or attached to some other facility.
  • Retail: locations where the primary activity is the selling of goods or the provision of services to customers for personal/household use. Any surrounding land/yard/car/parking area, together with any other structures existing at the location are included under retail. Includes chemists, service stations, restaurants, florists and supermarkets.
  • Recreational: locations where the primary activity is the provision of recreational facilities. Any surrounding land/yard/car/parking area, together with any other structures existing at the location are included under recreational. Includes cinemas, gymnasiums, sporting ground/oval, dance halls and amusement parlours.
  • Other: includes offices and office blocks, banks, warehouses, factories, farms and other locations not further defined.
  • Unspecified: where the location is unspecified or unknown.

Manslaughter

The unlawful killing of another person while deprived of the power of self-control by provocation; or under circumstances amounting to diminished responsibility; or without intent to kill, as a result of a careless, reckless, negligent, unlawful or dangerous act (other than the act of driving).

Motor vehicle theft

The taking of another person's motor vehicle illegally and without permission with the intent of temporarily or permanently depriving the owner or possessor of the use of the motor vehicle. Excludes attempted motor vehicle theft.

Murder

The unlawful killing of another person where there is either the intent to kill; the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, with the knowledge that it was probable that death or grievous bodily harm would occur (reckless indifference to life); or without intent to kill in the course of committing a crime (felony murder).

Offence

Any act or omission by a person, persons, organisation, or organisations for which a penalty could be imposed by the Australian legal system.

Other theft

Other theft is the taking of another person's property with the intention of depriving the owner of the property illegally and without permission, but without force, threat of force, use of coercive measures, deceit or having gained unlawful entry to any structure even if the intent was to commit theft. Other theft includes the ASOC groups of Theft of motor vehicle parts or contents (0813), Theft from a person (excluding by force) (0821), Theft from retail premises (0823), Theft (except motor vehicles) n.e.c. (0829) and illegal use of property (except motor vehicles (0841)).

Outcome of investigation

The stage that a police investigation has reached after a period of 30 days has elapsed since the recording of the incident by police.
  • Investigation not finalised: While no offender has been proceeded against at the time of reporting the outcome, the investigation remains open. It is either being actively pursued by investigators, or is pending/suspended. That is, while not actively being investigated, the case would be reopened if new evidence emerged.
  • Investigation finalised, no offender proceeded against: The reported crime is determined to be unsubstantiated, or has been withdrawn by the complainant, or while an alleged offender has been identified no action is able to be taken due to time limitations, a statute bar applying diplomatic immunity, incompetence, death, age or imprisonment of the alleged offender. This may also include records where it has been determined after recording that no crime occurred e.g. a false report.
  • Investigation finalised, offender proceeded against: One or more alleged offenders are intended to be proceeded against in court by arrest, warrant, summons, notice to appear, etc., or the alleged offenders are intended to be proceeded against by the convening of a diversionary conference, the administration of a formal caution or through some other legal process.
  • Miscellaneous finalisations: Includes records transferred to a different jurisdiction, duplicate records, or those records which are additional offences.

Relationship of offender to victim

The relationship of offender to victim is defined as the relationship of the alleged offender to the victim as perceived by the victim at the time of the offence.
  • Known to victim: This is where the offender is known to the victim. This includes both family and non-family members.
  • Family member: This is where the offender is a family member. The group includes partners, parents, children, siblings, boyfriends/girlfriends and other related family members.
  • Partner: Where the victim and the offender are married, in a de facto relationship or where the offender is the victim's boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • Other family member: Where the offender is a blood relative or a relative by marriage including parents, children, siblings and other related family members such as cousins and grandparents. Step parents/brothers/sisters are included, as are in-laws.
  • Non-family member: This is where the offender is known and is not a family member. The group includes ex-partners, ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, and other non-family members.
  • Ex-partner: Where the victim and the offender were no longer in a partnered relationship at the time of the offence. This includes where the relationship has ended through separation or divorce or where the offender was the ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend of the victim.
  • Other non-family member: Where the offender is known to the victim and is not a relative. This includes a variety of people such as foster parents, teachers, acquaintances, colleagues, friends, etc.
  • Stranger: The victim has seen the offender but does not personally know them.
  • No offender identified: This is to be used in cases where no information is available about the offender. This may include where police have recorded an offender, however, due to other circumstances (e.g. death of victim) further details were unable to be obtained; or where the victim was knocked unconscious, blindfolded, etc. and was unable to identify the offender.
  • Not applicable: This is where the victim is not a person (i.e. an organisation, motor vehicle or premises).
  • Not stated/inadequately described: This is where a relationship of offender to victim has not been recorded or the information supplied is insufficient to classify elsewhere.

Robbery

The unlawful taking of property, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property, from the immediate possession, control, custody or care of a person or organisation, accompanied by the use, and/or threatened use, of immediate force or violence.

Robbery has been disaggregated into armed and unarmed by cross classifying total robbery with use of weapon information. Where a weapon was used in the committal of the offence, robbery is classified as armed. Where there was no weapon used in the committal of the offence, or where weapon use was unknown or not stated, robbery is classified as unarmed.

Sexual assault

Physical contact, or intent of contact, of a sexual nature directed toward another person where that person does not give consent, gives consent as a result of intimidation or deception, or consent is proscribed (i.e. the person is legally deemed incapable or giving consent because of youth, temporary/permanent (mental) incapacity or there is a familial relationship).

Syringe

See Weapon.

Unarmed robbery

See Robbery.

Unlawful entry with intent (UEWI)

The unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit an offence where the entry is either forced or unforced. Excludes shop-stealing and stealing from a house or premise to which the offender has been invited or has legitimate access whereby the intent was unlawful but the entry was not. Also excludes trespass whereby entry is unlawful but there is no intent to commit an offence.

A structure is a building which is contained by walls and can be secured in some form. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
  • dwelling
  • office
  • bank
  • shop
  • factory
  • school
  • church.

For the purposes of determining the number of counts of UEWI, a place/premise is a single, connected property, containing one or more structures, all of which are occupied by the same person or group of people. The occupant(s) may own, rent, lease or otherwise inhabit the structure(s). For more information see Explanatory Notes paragraph 40.

There are two offence categories of UEWI:
  • Involving the taking of property: the unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit a criminal act, resulting in the taking of property from the structure.
  • Other: the unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit a criminal act, but does not result in the taking of property from the structure.

Victim

The definition of victim varies according to the offence category:
  • For murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, assault, sexual assault and kidnapping/abduction, the victim is an individual person.
  • For robbery, the victim may be either an individual person or an organisation. Where the robbery involves an organisation or business, the element of property ownership is the key to determining the number and type of robbery victims. If the robbery only involves property belonging to an organisation, then one victim (i.e. the organisation) is counted regardless of the number of employees from which the property is taken. However, if robbery of an organisation also involves personal property in an employee's custody, then both the organisation and employee(s) are counted as victims.
  • For blackmail/extortion, the victim may be either an individual person or an organisation.
  • For UEWI, the victim is the place/premise which is defined as a single connected property that is owned, rented or occupied by the same person or group of people.
  • For motor vehicle theft, the victim is the motor vehicle.
  • For other theft, the victim is either an individual person or an organisation.

Victimisation rate

Number of victims per 100,000 Estimated Resident Population (ERP). For more information, see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 43-47.

Weapon

A weapon is defined as any object used to cause injury or fear of injury. It also includes imitation weapons and implied weapons (e.g. where a weapon is not seen by the victim but the offender claims to possess one). Parts of the body such as fists or feet are not included. The following are categories of weapons:
  • Weapon not further defined: where a weapon was used; sighted; or implied; during the commission of the offence but the nature of the weapon is unknown or cannot be identified.
  • Firearm: any potentially lethal, barrelled weapon from which any shot; bullet; or other missile; is able, or appears able, to be discharged. This includes but is not limited to: pistol; revolver; rifle; automatic/semi-automatic rifle; shotgun; military firearm; airgun; nail gun; cannon; imitation firearm; implied firearm. This excludes bow and arrow; crossbow; spear gun; blowgun.
  • Knife: any cutting instrument consisting essentially of a thin blade attached to a handle. This includes, but is not limited to: ballistic knife; sheath knife; kitchen knife; and implied knife. It excludes: scythe; sickle; sword; and axe.
  • Syringe (hypodermic needle): a small device consisting of a tube, narrowed at its outlet and fitted with either a piston or a rubber bulb; for drawing in a quantity of fluid and ejecting it in a stream.
  • Bottle/glass: a bottle or glass either broken or unbroken.
  • Bat/bar/club: a cricket bat; baseball bat; other bat; crowbar; iron bar; jemmy bar; club; baton; stick; or length of timber.
  • Chemical: any noxious or irritant liquid; powder; gas; or spray; that is used to immobilise, incapacitate or injure another person either temporarily or permanently.
  • Other weapon: includes any instrument or substance capable of inflicting damage, injury or death. This includes but is not limited to: sharp instrument; blunt instrument; hammer; axe; bow and arrow; crossbow; spear gun; blowgun; rope; wire; explosive; vehicle; other dangerous article; imitation weapons (excluding firearms, knives and syringes).
  • No weapon used: no weapon was used in the commission of an offence.
  • Unspecified: where it is unknown whether a weapon was used in the commission of an offence, or the weapon use information has not been recorded or is insufficient to classify elsewhere.