4519.0 - Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2016-17  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/02/2018   
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8 February 2018
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Youth offender rate falls for seventh consecutive year

The youth offender rate decreased for the seventh consecutive year in 2016–17, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Between 2009–10 and 2016–17, the rate fell from 3,339 to 2,330 offenders per 100,000 persons aged 10 to 17.

ABS Director of Crime and Justice Statistics, William Milne, said that nationally there were 54,064 offenders aged 10–17 years old who were proceeded against by police in 2016–17.

“Since the beginning of the decline in 2009–10, the number of youth offenders has fallen by just over a quarter, down 28 per cent or 20,860 offenders. In contrast, the total offender population in Australia has increased by 5 per cent over the same time period,” Mr Milne said.

The largest decreases in youth offenders since 2009–10 were for public order offences (down by 5,105 offenders, almost half), theft (down by 3,663, 16 per cent) and acts intended to cause injury (down by 3,484 offenders, over a quarter). There was, however, an increase in the principal offence of Illicit drug offences, up by nearly a third (30 per cent or 1,287 offenders).

There were about two and a half times more male (38,191) than female youth offenders (15,788) recorded by police in 2016–17.

Further information is available in Recorded Crime - Offenders (cat. no. 4519.0), on the ABS website: https://www.abs.gov.au/.

Media notes:
  • Proceeded against by police means a legal action was initiated against an alleged offender for a criminal offence by a police officer. Depending on the type and seriousness of the offence committed, police will either initiate a court action (where offenders may be taken into custody, granted bail or issued with a summons for these charges pending an appearance in court) or non-court action (such as informal or formal cautions/warnings, conferencing, counselling such as drug diversionary schemes, or the issuing of penalty or infringement notices).
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
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