4530.0 - Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/02/2013   
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Contents >> Introduction


This publication presents findings from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2011–12 Crime Victimisation Survey, which was conducted throughout Australia from July 2011 to June 2012. This was the fourth annual national survey of crime victimisation in Australia, with the first Crime Victimisation Survey conducted in 2008–09. The publication presents estimates of the extent of victimisation experienced by Australians aged 15 years and over of selected types of crime and whether or not it was reported to police. The survey also collects information about selected characteristics of incidents of victimisation (such as the location of the incident and the victim’s relationship to the offender) and socio-demographic details of victims (such as age, sex and education). The data referred to within this commentary are available to download as datacubes from the Download tab within this publication.

The types of crime included in the survey comprised of both personal crimes and households crimes. Definitions of the individual crime types can be found in the Glossary and in each section of the commentary about that type of crime. The personal crimes included in the survey were:

Flowchart showing selected personal crimes in the crime victimisation survey

The household crimes included in the survey were:

Flowchart showing selected household crime in the crime victimisation survey
The publication explores whether or not people have been a victim of selected types of crime. In this context, a victim is a person or household who has experienced at least one incident of a selected type of crime within 12 months prior to interview in 2011–12. Legal definitions of the types of crime included in the survey vary across states and territories. The questions used in this survey identified the key elements of each type of crime as defined by the criminal law, but responses may also be influenced by people’s subjective identification of these types of crimes. For full definitions of the crimes included in the survey, refer to the Glossary. As a victim may experience multiple incidents of a type of crime, the survey includes both counts of victims and counts of incidents of the different types of crimes. A victim is only counted once for each type of crime experienced.

An incident is a single occurrence of a crime event, such as a break-in to a household or an assault of a person. In any particular event, a number of different types of crimes may be committed against a person. For instance, a person might confront someone breaking into their home subsequently be assaulted during the same event. The Crime Victimisation Survey collects each relevant element of a type of crime in an event separately. In the above example, the person would be counted in the household victim count for break-in, and the person victim count for physical assault in this survey. While these incidents occurred within the single event, they count as one incident in each of the categories. People and households may also have experienced multiple events within the reference period of the survey and these are recognised as separate incidents in the survey (except for sexual assault where number of incidents is not collected). Apart from whether incidents were reported to police, only details about the most recent incident the victim experienced of that type of crime are collected.

The Crime Victimisation Survey provides important information for the community about the extent of crime in Australia. This includes not only incidents that are reported to the police, but also those that are not brought to the attention of the police. While other statistics from administrative sources about incidents that have been reported to the police are available from state and territory police and the ABS, the Crime Victimisation survey is the only national collection which provides information about both crime that has been reported to the police and crime that does not come to the attention of the police. More information about the differences between administrative data and survey data when measuring victims of crime can be found in the ABS information paper Measuring Victims of Crime: A Guide to Using Administrative and Survey Data, June 2011 (cat. no. 4500.0.55.001).

Data from the crime victimisation survey is used by police, the justice sector, researchers and the wider Australian community to better understand the extent and nature of certain types of crime in Australia and the proportion of crime that is reported to the police. This knowledge contributes to a range of community, police and public policy initiatives, such as operational planning, evaluation of services, education programs and prevention policies.

Only data with a relative standard error (RSE) of less than 25% is referred to in the text of this publication and these estimates are considered sufficiently robust for general use. All differences and changes mentioned have been tested for statistical significance with a 95% level of confidence that there is a real difference in the two populations being tested. More information can be found in the Data Quality Technical Note.

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