4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Jan 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/02/2012   
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Abduction, harassment and other offence against the person

Acts intended to threaten or harass, or acts that unlawfully deprive another person of their freedom of movement, that are against that person's will or against the will of any parent, guardian or other person having lawful custody or care of that person.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

People who identify or are identified as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. May also include people identified as both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.

See also Indigenous.

Acts intended to cause injury

Acts, excluding attempted murder and those resulting in death, which are intended to cause non-fatal injury or harm to another person and where there is no sexual or acquisitive element.

Adult prisoner

An adult prisoner is a person who is aged 18 years and over in all states and territories except Queensland, where an adult prisoner is a person aged 17 years and over.

Age standardisation

A statistical method that adjusts crude rates to account for age differences between populations with different age structures.

Aggregate sentence

The longest period that the convicted prisoner may be detained for the current sentenced offences in the current episode.

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 Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), 2008 (cat. no. 1234.0) provides a national framework for classifying offences for statistical purposes, and was first released in 1997. In 2008, the ABS released the second edition of ASOC, which reflects changes that have occurred in criminal legislation since the first edition was released, as well as satisfying emerging user requirements for offence data.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.

Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons

Acts which, though not intended to cause harm, actually or potentially result in injury to oneself or another person.

Estimated Resident Population (ERP)

The official measure of the population of Australia is based on the concept of residence. It refers to all people, regardless of nationality or citizenship, who usually live in Australia, with the exception of foreign diplomatic personnel and their families. It includes usual residents who are overseas for less than 12 months. It excludes overseas visitors who are in Australia for less than 12 months.

Face-to-face threatened physical assault

See Physical threat, threatened physical assault.

Fraud, deception, and related offences

Offences involving a dishonest act or omission carried out with the purpose of deceiving to obtain a benefit.Harassment

Relates to a range of disturbing situations that a person may have experienced:
  • Obscene phone call
    Refers to a telephone call that the receiver felt was indecent or improper due to the sexual content of the message. Includes phone calls in which profanity was used or any other type of obscene message. Includes phone calls involving racial vilification. Excludes short message service (SMS) or text messages, which are regarded as stalking.
  • Indecent exposure
    The act of exposing genitals, where the person believed the purpose was to distress, shock, humiliate and/or generate fear.
  • Inappropriate comments about body/sex life
    Includes inappropriate comments in a group situation or when alone with a person. Includes comments that related to a person's race, such as implying that people of a particular cultural group have certain sexual characteristics.
  • Unwanted sexual touching
    Any intentional touching, grabbing, kissing or fondling which is carried out without a person's consent. It is momentary or brief touching which did not lead to sexual assault. It includes groping or brushing against a person's breast or bottom.

Homicide and related offences

The unlawful killing, attempted unlawful killing or conspiracy to kill another person.

Illicit drug offence

The possession, sale, dealing or trafficking, importing or exporting, manufacture or cultivation of drugs or other substances prohibited under legislation.

Imprisonment rates

Imprisonment rates enable comparison of prisoner populations across states and territories at a point in time, as well as over time. Prisoner rates are expressed as the number of persons in prison per 100,000 adult population.


Refers to people who identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. See also Aboriginal people and Torres Islander peoples.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.


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).


The arithmetic average.


The middle value of set of values when the values are sorted in order.

Miscellaneous offences

Offences involving the breach of statutory rules or regulations governing activities that are prima facie legal, where such offences are not explicitly dealt with under any other Division of ASOC.

Most serious offence

For sentenced prisoners, the most serious offence is the offence for which the prisoner has received the longest sentence in the current episode for a single count of the offence, except for Tasmania.


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).

National Offence Index (NOI)

The National Offence Index (NOI) is a tool that provides an ordinal ranking of all ASOC groups in ASOC according to the perceived seriousness of each offence. For further details, see the Explanatory Notes in Prisoners in Australia, 2011 (cat no. 4517.0).

National Prisoner Census

An annual census of all persons in the legal custody of adult corrective services in all states and territories as at midnight 30 June. Statistics in Prisoners in Australia, 2011 (cat no. 4517.0) are derived from information on each prisoner collected by the ABS from administrative records held by corrective services agencies within each state and territory.Non-Indigenous

Refers to people who don't identify themselves, or were not identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.


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

Offence against justice

An act or omission that is deemed to be prejudicial to the effective carrying out of justice procedures or any government operations. This includes general government operations as well as those specifically concerned with maintaining government security.

Offenders of crime

A person aged 10 years and over allegedly involved in a criminal incident who is proceeded against and recorded by police for one or more offences. An offender is only counted once during the reference period irrespective of the number of offences committed or the number of separate occasions that police proceeded against that offender.

Offender rates

Offender rates are expressed as the number of offenders per 100,000 of the relevant Estimated Resident Population (ERP).

Partner violence

Any incident of sexual assault, threatened sexual assault, physical assault or threatened or attempted physical assault by a current and/or previous partner.

Physical assault

An incident where anyone used physical force or violence against a respondent with the intent to harm or frighten. Physical force or violence includes being: pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped, hit with an open hand or fist, kicked or bitten. It also includes being hit with something else that could hurt a respondent i.e. a bat, hammer, belt, pot, ruler, etc. It includes being beaten, choked, stabbed, shot, burnt, dragged or hit deliberately by a vehicle. Includes assault in a respondent's line of work. It excludes incidents that occurred before the age of 15 years, during the course of play on a sporting field, verbal abuse, and incidents of sexual assault or threatened sexual assault which also involved physical assault.Physical threat, threatened physical assault

Verbal and/or physical intent or suggestion of intent to inflict physical harm, which the person believed was able and likely to be carried out. Includes threat in a respondent's line of work. Includes a threat or attempt to hit with a fist or anything else that could hurt; threats or attempts to slap, punch, spank or hit in any way with a fist or weapon such as a bat, hammer or pot; situations where a gun was left in an obvious place or if the person knew that the perpetrator had access to a gun. Guns include toy guns, starter pistols etc. if the respondent believed they were real. It excludes incidents that occurred during the course of play on a sporting field, and incidents of sexual assault or threatened sexual assault or physical assault that also involved threatened physical assault.

Personal Safety Survey includes threats made face-to-face and Crime Victimisation Survey includes both face-to-face and non face-to-face threatened assault.

Physical violence

Any incident of physical assault, attempt or threat. Incidents so defined would be an offence under state and territory criminal law.

Principal offence

The offence category, based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC), 2011 (cat. no. 1234.0), 2011, that describes the most serious offence type that a person has been proceeded against by police during the reference period. The principal offence is determined by the rankings in the NOI (see National Offence Index).


A person held in custody. For the purposes of this domain, prisoners are those whose confinement is the responsibility of a corrective services agency.

Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences

Offences involving prohibited or regulated weapons and explosives.

Property damage and environmental pollution

The wilful and unlawful destruction, damage or defacement of public or private property, or the pollution of property or a definable entity held in common by the community.

Public order offence

Offences involving personal conduct that involves, or may lead to, a breach of public order or decency, or that is indicative of criminal intent, or that is otherwise regulated or prohibited on moral or ethical grounds. In general these offences do not involve a specific victim or victims; however some offences, such as offensive language and offensive behaviour, may be directed towards a single victim.

Reporting rate

The proportion of victims who reported the most recent incident of a crime to police. Robbery

An incident where someone stole (or tried to steal) property from a respondent by physically attacking them or threatening him or her with force or violence. Includes incidents of physical assault and threatened assault which also involved robbery or attempted robbery.

Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4519.0) defines robbery as 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, extortion and other related offences

Acts intended to unlawfully gain money, property or other thing of value from, or to cause detriment to, another person by using the threat of force or any other coercive measure.

Sentenced prisoners

Sentenced prisoners are those persons who have received a term of imprisonment from a court. This includes offenders who have been given an indeterminate sentence or custodial order, for example persons detained under the 'Governor's/HM's Pleasure' and 'Forensic Patients', or those who have received a life sentence. Also included are periodic detainees in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

Sexual assault

An act of a sexual nature carried out against a person's will, through the use of physical force, intimidation or coercion. It includes attempts to force a person into sexual activity.

The attempts are not separately identified in the Personal Safety Survey. It includes rape, attempted rape, aggravated sexual assault (assault with a weapon), indecent assault, penetration by objects and forced sexual activity that did not end in penetration. It excludes unwanted sexual touching and incidents which occurred before the age of 15 years. Incidents so defined would be an offence under state and territory criminal law.

Recorded Crime - Victims, 2010 (cat. no. 4510.0) and Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2009-10 (cat. no. 4519.0) defines sexual assault as also covering physical contact, or intent of contact, of a sexual nature where consent is proscribed (i.e. the person is legally deemed incapable of giving consent because of youth, temporary/permanent (mental) incapacity or there is a familial relationship).

Sexual assault and related offences

Acts of a sexual nature against another person which are non-consensual or consent is proscribed.

Sexual threat, threatened sexual assault

The threat of acts of a sexual nature which are carried out against a person's will, through the use of physical force, intimidation or coercion. The person must have believed that the threats were able, and likely, to be carried out. It only includes threats that were made face-to-face and includes verbal threats, threats with a weapon and threats to harm children. It excludes if threats were made and then a sexual assault was carried out, and incidents that occurred before the age of 15 years.Sexual violence

An incident of sexual assault or threat.


The definition of stalking is based on state and territory legislation. It is defined by a range of activities which the person believed were undertaken with the intent to harm or frighten. Activities include: loitering outside a person's home, workplace or place of leisure or social activities; following or watching a person; interfering with their property; giving or leaving offensive material and telephoning; and sending mail or contacting electronically. In order to be classified as stalking more than one type of stalking behaviour had to occur, or the same type of behaviour had to occur on more than one occasion. People who had been stalked by more than one person during their lifetime provided details about the most recent incident of stalking. Includes stalking by partners.
  • Given or left offensive material

    Includes pornographic material, destroyed photographs, articles about murders, dead animals (if not person's own).
  • Telephoned, sent mail or contacted electronically
    Includes by short message service (SMS) messages, emails, or information about the person being placed on a web site.
Theft and related offences

The unlawful taking or obtaining of money or goods not involving the use of force, threat of force or violence, coercion or deception, with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner or possessor of the use of the money or goods, or the receiving or handling of money or goods obtained unlawfully.

Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter

The unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit an offence where the entry is either forced or unforced.


A household or person reporting at least one of the crimes surveyed. Victims were counted once only for each type of crime, regardless of the number of incidents of that type.

Victimisation rate

The total number of victims of a given crime in a given population (who have been a victim of the crime at least once in the reference period) expressed as a percentage of that population. This is the most common measure derived from crime victim surveys.


Includes physical and sexual violence (as defined above).