ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
This publication presents 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 2017 to 30 June 2018, as well as selected data for the reference periods 2008–09 through to 2016–17. 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 individual 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.
It is important to note though there will be genuine differences across state and territory jurisdictions for some offence types due to different legislative requirements, policies and practices. Furthermore, the range of court and non-court actions available to police when proceeding against offenders varies between states and territories.
Certain offences are excluded from the Recorded Crime – Offenders collection. For further information about the scope and counting methodology of the collection refer to the Explanatory Notes.
Recorded Crime – Offenders features two distinct counting units: offenders and proceedings.
For the offender population, a person is only counted once regardless of how many times they may have been dealt with by police during the reference period. For example, if a person committed offences on two different dates during the reference year and police proceeded against them for each separate incident, the person would be only counted once.
Offender rates presented in this edition are calculated using Estimated Resident Population (ERP) data (derived from Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0)) and expressed as the number of offenders per 100,000 population aged 10 years and over. Where rates are presented by jurisdiction, sex, age or Indigenous status, the rates are calculated using the population of the relevant group. For example, the statement '1,918 offenders per 100,000 persons' should be read as '1,918 offenders per 100,000 persons in the relevant group aged 10 years and over'.
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. For example, if a person committed offences on two different dates during the reference year and police proceeded against them for each separate incident, this would be counted as two proceedings.
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 2017 to 30 June 2018 at a national level, and also for each state and territory.
The Youth offenders chapter presents data relating to the characteristics of offenders aged 10–17 years.
The Indigenous status, selected states and territories 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 the Australian Capital Territory.
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.
The State and Territory Profiles present information for each state and territory about the characteristics of offenders aged 10 years and over who were proceeded against by police during the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.
The Experimental Family and Domestic Violence statistics chapter presents experimental data on offenders of family and domestic violence related offences, as flagged by police or where the relationship of offender to victim falls within a specified family or domestic relationship. Data are presented for New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.
The Explanatory Notes provide detailed information on the data sources, scope, counting rules, data comparability and other technical matters associated with this publication.
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
A revised National Offence Index (NOI) was released in 2018 to assign rankings to the remaining supplementary offence codes that were previously unranked in the 2009 version. As such, the principal offence information presented in this issue for the:
- 2017–18 reference period is based on the 2018 version of the NOI
- 2008–09 to 2016–17 reference periods are based on the 2009 version of the NOI
There is minimal impact on the data from the change to the 2018 NOI.
The additional offence of ‘Fare evasion’ has been separated from the count of offenders with a principal offence of Theft where possible. The data has been excluded from the Theft and related offences division data but is included in the offender totals. The detailed Fare evasion offence category is only presented in one table: Table 6 OFFENDERS, Principal offence (divisions and selected subdivisions), States and territories, 2016–17 to 2017–18.
Queensland data for the 2014–15 to 2016–17 reference periods was reprocessed to enable the publication of fare evasion data.
This publication also introduces a new count of offenders proceeded against for an FDV-related Breach of violence or non-violence orders. This is a count of all offenders who were proceeded against by police at least once for an offence of Breach of violence and non-violence orders (ANZSOC 153) which was flagged as FDV-related by police or identified as being within a specified family or domestic relationship.
Proportions, percentages, rates and ratios cited in the publication text have been rounded up/down to the nearest whole number.
INFORMATION ON ABS CRIME AND JUSTICE STATISTICS
Details of other ABS publications relating to crime and justice statistics can be found in the Related Information tab. For non-ABS publications refer to the Explanatory Notes.
The ABS acknowledges the valuable contribution of the staff of the various agencies that provide the data that are presented in this publication, the Board of Management of the National Crime Statistics Unit, the National Crime Statistics Advisory Group and the Police Statisticians’ Group.
For further information about these and related statistics contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 090, or by email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.