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 2014 to 30 June 2015, as well as selected data for the reference periods 2008-09 through to 2013-14. 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. Experimental statistics on offenders of family and domestic violence offences are also provided for the first time.
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 48-56).
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 57-82 of the Explanatory Notes.
The Offenders, Australia chapter presents statistics about all offenders aged 10 years and over who were proceeded against by state/territory police during the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015 at a national level, and also for each state and territory. This information provides a profile of the principal offence for which an offender was proceeded against and includes comparisons over time.
The Youth offenders chapter presents data relating to the characteristics of offenders aged between 10 and 19 years.
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, the Northern Territory and (for the first time) the Australian Capital Territory (refer to paragraphs 32-38 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 and the Northern Territory (refer to paragraphs 71 and 79 of the Explanatory Notes).
The Experimental Family and Domestic Violence statistics feature article presents experimental data on offenders of family and domestic violence related offences, as recorded on police recording systems. Data are presented for New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (refer to paragraphs 42-47 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 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
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offender rates have been revised in this publication for the years 2008-09 to 2013-14, due to a change in the date used as the basis for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population estimates and projections. Previously the estimates were taken as at 30 June at the end of each reference period, while for this issue they were taken using the midpoint of the reference period (i.e. 31 December). This change was made to align with how offender rates are calculated for the total population in this publication.
Data for the 2013-14 reference period have been revised since the previous issue of this publication, as a result of updated information received from New South Wales, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. The revisions are incorporated in the data cubes available in this publication. Note that the extent of revisions differ for individual states and territories and/or between data items.
For the first time, this publication presents Indigenous status data for the Australian Capital Territory. In some instances, Indigenous Status was obtained by ACT Police without giving the offender the opportunity to self-identify. However consultation with ACT Police showed that the proportion of records not obtained via self-identification was low, and the impact on the data is minimal.
Additional experimental statistics have been included in this publication on offenders of Family and Domestic Violence offences. These data are drawn from police recording systems and are based on a Family and Domestic Violence flag as recorded by police officers.
Changes have also been made to the content of the published data cubes in this issue, including the number and structure of tables. However there have been no changes to the structure of the data cubes.
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 98 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.