4519.0 - Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2014-15 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/02/2016   
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This chapter presents statistics about the characteristics of offenders aged between 10 and 19 years who were proceeded against by police during the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015. Characteristics of the offenders include sex and age, as well as the principal offence for which a youth offender was proceeded against by police.

Certain offences are excluded from the Recorded Crime - Offenders collection. For further information about the scope and counting methodology of the collection refer to paragraphs 3-16 of the Explanatory Notes.

The number of youth offenders decreased by 2,223 offenders (or 3%) to 85,442 between 2013-14 and 2014-15. Youth offenders comprised just over a fifth (21%) of the total offender population in 2014-15, while representing 14% of the total Australian Estimated Resident Population (ERP). (Table 18)

Between 2013-14 and 2014-15, the most notable changes in youth offenders were for the principal offences of:
  • Acts intended to cause injury (a decrease of 8% to 11,961 offenders);
  • Unlawful entry with intent (a decrease of 12% to 4,683 offenders);
  • Illicit drug offences (an increase of 8% to 13,194 offenders);
  • Theft (an increase of 7% to 24,525 offenders); and
  • Public order offences (a decrease 15% to 12,242 offenders). (Table 18)


In 2014-15, youth offender rates for males were three to four times higher than youth offender rates for females for each year of age. There were approximately three times more male than female youth offenders (64,179 and 21,067 respectively). In comparison, for the total offender population there were three and a half times more male than female offenders (320,164 and 88,973 respectively).

The male offender rate was highest for those aged 19 years (8,840 offenders per 100,000 males aged 19 years), which was more than three times higher than the rate for all male offenders (3,143 offenders per 100,000 males aged 10 years and over). The highest offender rate for females was at the age of 18 years (2,461 offenders per 100,000 females aged 18 years), which was almost three times higher than the rate for all female offenders (856 offenders per 100,000 females aged 10 years and over). (Table 20)


The highest youth offender rate for any single year of age was for the principal offence of Theft for offenders aged 16 years (1,663 offenders per 100,000 persons aged 16 years). The most prevalent principal offence for those aged 10-17 years was Theft, while for offenders aged 18-19 years it was Illicit drug offences. (Table 20)

Graph Image for YOUTH OFFENDERS, Offender rate(a) by age and selected offences, 2014-15

Footnote(s): (a) Rate per 100,000 population (see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 17-21).

Source(s): Recorded Crime - Offenders


In 2014-15, the youth offender rate, as measured per 100,000 persons aged 10-19 years, was highest in:
  • Northern Territory (4,409); and
  • South Australia (4,008).

Australian Capital Territory had the lowest youth offender rate in 2014-15, at 1,328 offenders per 100,000 persons aged 10-19 years. Between 2013-14 and 2014-15, the youth offender rate decreased in all states and territories except New South Wales, where it increased by 97 offenders (or 3%) and the Northern Territory, where it increased by 27 offenders (or 1%). New South Wales also had the highest proportion of youth offenders, equating to nearly 25% of the total offenders for the state. (Table 19)