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MEASURING CRIME VICTIMISATION IN AUSTRALIA
Police are the primary agency responsible for the prevention, detection and investigation of criminal incidents. At the point where an incident of crime victimisation occurs, there are a number of ways in which this can be measured and a number of stages where a measurement can be taken. This can range from the time that a person perceives that they have been a victim, through to reporting to police and the laying of charges.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) produces two key data sources that can inform the community about crime victimisation. The first of these is a measure of crimes reported to and recorded by police; and the second is a household survey collecting direct reports from members of the public about their experiences of crime. Neither of these sources can provide a complete measure of crime victimisation, but together they provide a more comprehensive picture of victimisation than either measure alone. Both sources have a number of limitations, however, of which users should be aware. For more detailed information about the differences between these sources and the implications on data comparability, refer to the information paper Measuring Victims of Crime: A Guide to Using Administrative and Survey Data, June 2011 (cat. no. 4500.0.55.001).