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Over the last 10 years, the ABS has worked collaboratively with state and territory police agencies to evaluate the differences in the recording of statistics (including assault) across jurisdictions. In 2001, the Differences in Recorded Crime Statistics (DiRCS) project was initiated to investigate state and territory differences in Recorded Crime Victims statistics. The project aimed to identify issues relevant to understanding the nature and extent of the impact of various factors on the national comparability of recorded crime statistics.
The DiRCS project identified differences in the way information was initially entered and recorded by police agencies, but did not find material differences in the way police jurisdictions manage the information once it has been recorded. That is, post-recording processes undertaken by the police jurisdictions were sound and do not significantly influence comparability. Therefore, the critical issues leading to differences in recorded crime statistics – particularly for assault – occurred at the initial processing stage after an incident was reported to police.