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RECORDED CRIME – VICTIMS, AUSTRALIA
This publication presents statistics on incidents of victimisation for a selected range of offences that came to the attention of police and were recorded by them in the period 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011.
This chapter provides an introduction to the Recorded Crime – Victims collection. Chapter 2 presents data about victims and their characteristics at the national level. Chapter 3 presents data about the characteristics of victims of assault for selected states and territories. Chapter 4 presents selected data about victims for selected states and territories; the relationship of an offender to the victim; and the Indigenous status of victims.
For ease of reading, some terms have been abbreviated throughout this publication. The offence category 'unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter' has been abbreviated to 'unlawful entry with intent', and 'homicide and related offences' has been abbreviated to 'homicide'.
Recorded crime statistics are the result of a process where incidents come to police attention and a subsequent decision-making process is carried out by police in accordance with criminal law and organisational business practices. As such they are subject to different legislation, rules of operation and procedures in different jurisdictions. A 'Differences in Recorded Crime Statistics' project completed by the ABS in 2005 found that differences between jurisdictions in police recording systems, business rules, procedures, and legislation, could partly explain differences then observed in recorded crime across states and territories for certain offence types, in addition to changes in the incidence of criminal victimisation. This was found to be particularly the case for the offence of assault. The National Crime Recording Standard was developed to reduce the differences between states and territories. As a result, this publication does not present national statistics for assault, however assault data is available for those states and territories that have been determined to be comparable and comply fully with rules set out in the National Crime Recording Standard. Chapter 3 contains assault data for New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory only.
Depending on the type of offence, a victim can be a person, a premises, an organisation or a motor vehicle. Victims are counted once for each type of offence that is reported to police. Therefore, a person reporting a crime with multiple offences in the same incident may either be counted multiple times, or may be counted only once, depending on the types of offences committed during the incident. For example, a victim who was robbed and abducted in the same incident would be counted separately as a victim under the offences of robbery and kidnapping/abduction. Conversely, a victim of multiple assaults in the same incident would be counted only once as the offences committed all fall within the same offence group. For these reasons, it is not meaningful to aggregate the number of victims across each offence type, as this cannot produce a 'total number of victims'; it is only meaningful to look at victim counts within each offence category.
For further information about the scope and counting methodology of this collection refer to paragraphs 5–12 and 26–33 of the Explanatory Notes.