This publication presents statistics about victims of crime for a selected range of offences that came to the attention of, and were recorded by, police between 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015. Data were derived from administrative systems maintained by state and territory police agencies, and have been compiled according to national standards to maximise consistency.
This collection does not count the number of unique person or organisation victims. As a single person or organisation can appear in multiple offence categories, it is not meaningful to aggregate the number of victims across each offence type. Therefore, it is only meaningful to look at victim counts within each offence category.
The Victims of Crime, Australia chapter presents nationally aggregated statistics about victims of a selected range of offences that came to the attention of state and territory police, including comparisons over time. This section provides a breakdown of the selected offences by victim characteristics (age and sex), characteristics of the incident (weapon use and location) and the outcome of police investigations at 30 days.
The Victims of Crime, states and territories chapter presents information about victims of a selected range of offences by states and territories, including statistics relating to the relationship of the offender to the victim.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victims chapter presents data relating to the Indigenous status of victims. Indigenous status statistics are presented for New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory only (refer to Explanatory Notes paragraphs 22-24).
The Victims of Family and Domestic Violence-Related Offences chapter presents experimental data. Victims of selected offences have been determined to be FDV–related where the relationship of offender to victim, as stored on police recording systems, falls within a specified family or domestic relationship, or where an FDV flag has been recorded, following a police investigation. Nationally aggregated statistics are only available for selected offences. For further information refer to Explanatory Notes paragraphs 38 –51.
The Explanatory Notes provide detailed information on the data sources, scope, counting rules, data comparability and other technical matters associated with this publication.
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'.
MEASURING VICTIMS OF CRIME IN AUSTRALIA
Police are the primary agency responsible for the prevention, detection and investigation of criminal incidents. At the point where 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 in a calendar year (outlined in this publication). The second is an annual household survey collecting direct reports from members of households about their experiences of crime in the 12 months prior to interview, with results published in Crime Victimisation, Australia (cat. no. 4530.0). Neither of these sources alone can provide a complete measure of crime victimisation in the community, but together they provide a more comprehensive picture of victimisation. Both sources have a number of limitations of which users should be aware. Detailed information about the differences between these sources of data and the implications for data comparability is available in the information paper Measuring Victims of Crime: A Guide to Using Administrative and Survey Data, June 2011 (cat. no. 4500.0.55.001).
INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS
The statistics in this publication are derived from administrative systems maintained by state and territory police. Data for 2010 to 2015 have been collected on a comparable basis in accordance with the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS). While national standards and classifications are used, differences over time in the level of recorded crime may reflect factors other than a change in the incidence of crime. Details of differences that may impact on the statistics are in the Explanatory Notes paragraphs 60-97.
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
There have been revisions to the 2014 data for New South Wales, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. These revisions are incorporated in the data cubes available in this publication. Note that the extent of revisions differed for individual states and territories and between data items.
In the 2014 release, a confidentiality technique called perturbation was introduced to the collection to minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most effective technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released.
These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics for the majority of the publication. However, the low levels of prevalence for the Homicide and related offences division do not support the use of perturbation as an effective confidentiality technique for this data item. This issue, in combination with the high profile nature of Homicide cases, led to the decision to present this data item separately from other offence categories and apply a different confidentiality process. Data in the ‘Victims of Homicide’ data cube have not been perturbed and some data have been suppressed to minimise the risk of identifying individuals in the aggregate statistics. All Homicide data are presented in this data cube, with the exception of the experimental Family and Domestic Violence data, which are presented in Table 2 of the ‘Experimental Data – Victims of Family and Domestic Violence’ data cube.
Perturbation has been applied to all other offences for both the 2015 data and historical data presented in this publication. For more information see paragraphs 52-57 of the Explanatory Notes.
INFORMATION ON ABS CRIME AND JUSTICE STATISTICS
More information about the ABS activities in the field of crime and justice statistics is available on the ABS website. Details of other ABS publications relating to crime and justice statistics can be found on the Other Related Information tab.
The ABS acknowledges the valuable contribution of the Board of Management of the National Crime Statistics Unit (NCSU), the National Crime Statistics Advisory Group and the staff of the various agencies that provide the data that are presented in this publication.