This collection provides statistics relating to the number and characteristics of alleged offenders (hereafter referred to as "offenders") aged 10 years and over who have been proceeded against by police during the 12 month reference period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014, as well as selected data for the reference periods 2008-09 through to 2012-13. This includes their age, sex, Indigenous status, principal offence, and how often they have been proceeded against by police within the reference period, as well as a count of proceedings comprising court and non-court actions.
The statistics are based on data extracted from the administrative records of state and territory police agencies. National statistics require a level of uniformity when compiling data from different states and territories. As such, data from the Recorded Crime – Offenders collection have been compiled according to national standards and classifications to ensure comparability (see Explanatory Notes, paragraphs 40-47).
Responsibility for policing largely resides with individual Australian state and territory governments, and therefore different legislative offences and practices may exist across jurisdictions. Although national standards and classifications are used to produce these data, there will be genuine differences across state and territory jurisdictions for some offence types. The data largely reflects the administrative processes of police agencies in dealing with offenders. Furthermore, the range of court and non-court actions available to police when proceeding against offenders varies between states and territories. For more information, refer to paragraphs 48-69 of the Explanatory Notes.
The Offenders, Australia chapter presents nationally aggregated statistics about all offenders aged 10 years and over who were proceeded against by state/territory police during the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014. This information provides a profile of the principal offence for which an offender was proceeded against and includes comparisons over time.
The Offenders, states and territories chapter presents data for each state and territory about the characteristics of offenders aged 10 years and over.
The Youth offenders chapter presents data relating to the characteristics of offenders aged between 10 and 19 years of age.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders chapter presents data relating to the Indigenous status of offenders. Indigenous status data are presented for New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory only (refer to paragraphs 33-38 of the Explanatory Notes).
The Police proceedings, selected states and territories chapter presents data on the number of separate occasions where an offender has had a legal action initiated against them during the reference period. Police proceedings data are presented for all states and territories except Western Australia (refer to paragraph 60 of the Explanatory Notes).
The Explanatory Notes provide detailed information on the data sources, scope, counting rules, data comparability and other technical matters associated with this publication.
Recorded Crime – Offenders features two distinct counting units: offenders and proceedings.
For data relating to the profile of offenders, an offender is only counted once regardless of how many times he or she may have been dealt with by police during the reference period. For example, if an offender committed offences on two different dates during the reference year and police proceeded against the offender for each separate incident, the offender is only counted once.
Offender rates for all data presented in this edition are calculated using final rebased Estimated Resident Population (ERP) data based on the 2011 Census of Population and Housing and expressed as the number of offenders per 100,000 population.
Police proceeding counts
Data relating to police proceedings represent a count for each separate occasion on which police initiate legal action against an offender. A person may therefore be counted more than once during the reference period for police proceedings.
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
In April 2014, the ABS published the backcast historical population estimates (for the period 2001–2011) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons, along with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population projections (for the period 2001–2026) in Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2001 to 2026 (cat. no. 3238.0). As a result, offender rates for both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and the non-Indigenous population in this publication for the years 2008-09 to 2012-13 have been revised, using final ERP data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.
Data for the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 reference years have been revised since the previous issue of this publication. The revisions are incorporated in the data cubes available in this publication. Note that the extent of revisions differed for individual states and territories and/or between data items.
To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used to randomly adjust cell values and summary variables. From the 2013-14 release, a technique called perturbation has been used. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory 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. Perturbation has been applied to the 2013-14 data as well as historical data presented in this publication. Previously, a different technique was used to confidentialise these data and therefore there may be small differences between historical data presented in this issue and those published in previous issues of this publication. For more information see paragraphs 80-84 of the Explanatory Notes.
Small changes have been made to the content and structure of the published data cubes in this issue. New data cubes have been included for youth offenders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders. For full details of changes see data cube 6 - Table concordance, on the Downloads tab.
INFORMATION ON ABS CRIME AND JUSTICE
Details of other ABS publications relating to crime and justice statistics can be found in the Related Information tab. For links to related non-ABS publications refer to paragraph 88 of the Explanatory Notes.
The ABS acknowledges the valuable contribution of the Board of Management of the National Crime Statistics Unit (NCSU) and the staff of the various agencies that provide data that are presented in this publication.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.