4515.0 - Federal Defendants, Australia, 2013-14 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2015   
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04 June 2015
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Harassment and threatening behaviour now most common principal federal offence

Harassment and threatening behaviour was the most common principal federal offence amongst defendants finalised within Australia’s criminal courts in 2013-14, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Federal Defendants, Australia 2013-14, presents statistics relating to finalised defendants charged with federal offences and heard in the criminal jurisdiction of the Higher (Supreme and Intermediate), Magistrates' and Children's Courts across Australia for the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014.

"In 2013-14 there were a total of 10,386 federal defendants finalised in Australia’s criminal courts,” said William Milne from the ABS. "Nine out of ten of these federal defendants were finalised in the Magistrates’ Courts.

“Over a quarter (2,652 defendants) of all federal defendants finalised in 2013-14 had a principal offence of Harassment and threatening behaviour, with 1,808 of these defendants proven guilty. Over one-quarter of defendants with this principal offence had their case withdrawn by the prosecution and a further five per cent were acquitted.

“Of those found guilty of Harassment and threatening behaviour, 84 per cent were sentenced to a non-custodial order, such as a monetary fine.”

The second most common principal federal offence in 2013-14 was Offences against government operations, for which 1,849 defendants were finalised. Offences against government operations include tax, immigration and postal related offences.

Further information can be found in Federal Defendants, Australia 2013-14 (cat. no. 4515.0) available for free download from the ABS website https://www.abs.gov.au

Media notes:

  • A finalised federal defendant is a person or organisation with at least one offence against Commonwealth legislation for whom all charges for one case have been formally completed so that the defendant ceases to be an item of work.
  • Offences relate to the most serious federal charge faced by a defendant.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • Media requests and interviews – contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.