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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24 February 2016
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Drug related offending continues to increase

Illicit drug offences have increased every year since 2008-09 and are the most prevalent principal offence nationally, with the number of offenders increasing by 11 per cent in 2014-15, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

William Milne from the ABS said that today’s Recorded Crime – Offenders publication revealed that 79,070 offenders had a principal offence of Illicit drug offences in 2014-15, an increase of 7,591 offenders from the previous financial year.

“Two thirds of illicit drug offenders were charged with possession and/or using illicit drugs, and a further 13 per cent for dealing or trafficking illicit drugs,” Mr Milne said.

The total number of offenders increased by 2 per cent in 2014-15 to 411,686. Despite the overall increase, the number of youth offenders aged 10-19 years fell by 3 per cent in 2014-15, marking the fifth consecutive year that offenders in this age group have decreased.

“The number of youth offenders has decreased by 22 per cent since 2008-09, however offender rates are still highest for people aged 15 to 19 years at 4,834 offenders per 100,000 persons aged 15-19 years,” Mr Milne said.

For the first time, this publication includes experimental statistics on offenders of family and domestic violence derived from police recording systems. In addition to providing a separate data cube for offenders of family and domestic violence, the ABS has released a feature article which contains background information, methodology and a summary of key findings. This follows the supplementary release of information about victims of family and domestic violence in Recorded Crime - Victims (cat. no. 4510.0) published in September 2015.

Further information can be found in Recorded Crime – Offenders, Australia 2014-15 (cat. no. 4519.0), available for free download from the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au).

Media notes:

  • Youth offenders are defined as offenders aged between 10 and 19 years of age at the time the offence was recorded.
  • 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 Media Line on 1300 175 070 or email media@abs.gov.au (8.30am to 5pm Mon-Fri).