4519.0 - Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/03/2019   
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POLICE PROCEEDINGS, SELECTED STATES AND TERRITORIES

OVERVIEW

This chapter presents statistics about police proceedings during the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018. Data is unavailable for Western Australia and only court action proceedings are presented for Victoria. Analysis is therefore generally limited to the six remaining jurisdictions. For further information refer to the Explanatory Notes.

A proceeding is a legal action initiated against an offender for an offence(s). In this publication, police proceedings represent a count for each separate occasion on which police initiate a legal action against an offender. Please note this is not a count of offences or a count of offenders. An offender can be proceeded against multiple times during the reference period, and so can appear multiple times in the police proceedings population. For further information about the scope and counting methodology for the collection refer to the Explanatory Notes.


TOTAL POLICE PROCEEDINGS

In 2017–18, there were:

  • 238,982 police proceedings in New South Wales
  • 161,250 police proceedings in Queensland
  • 64,097 police proceedings in South Australia
  • 22,987 police proceedings in the Northern Territory
  • 16,188 police proceedings in Tasmania
  • 3,567 police proceedings in the Australian Capital Territory (Tables 26–32)

Since 2016–17, the three largest jurisdictions with available data for total police proceedings showed slight decreases, with New South Wales down 2% (5,799 proceedings), Queensland down 5% (7,663 proceedings), and South Australia down 4% (2,326 proceedings). (Tables 26–32)

By contrast the smaller jurisdictions remained stable or showed a slight increase, with Tasmania up 2% (or 328 proceedings) and the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory remaining stable. (Tables 26–32)

In 2017–18, across the six jurisdictions with data available the offences with the highest number of proceedings were:
  • Illicit drug offences
  • Public order offences
  • Acts intended to cause injury
  • Theft
  • Offences against justice (Tables 26–32)

Police initiated legal proceedings can be categorised as court actions or non-court actions (note these data are not available for the Northern Territory and non-court action data are not available for Victoria; see Explanatory Notes).


COURT ACTIONS

In 2017–18:
  • Queensland had 132,320 court action proceedings, which accounted for 82% of total proceedings in this jurisdiction
  • New South Wales had 100,233 court action proceedings (42% of total proceedings)
  • Victoria had 80,150 court action proceedings
  • South Australia had 29,395 court action proceedings (46% of total proceedings)
  • Tasmania had 10,900 court action proceedings (67% of total proceedings)
  • Australian Capital Territory had 2,632 proceedings (74% of total proceedings) (Tables 26–32)

Between 2016–17 and 2017–18, the largest decrease in the number of court actions was seen in Queensland, down 5% (7341 proceedings). (Table 28)

The decrease in Queensland was mainly due to:
  • Illicit drug offences (down 2,678 proceedings or 8%)
  • Offences against justice (down 2,220 proceedings or 9%)
  • Public order offences (down 1,964 proceedings or 12%) (Table 28)

Decreases in court actions were also seen in Victoria (down 2,712 proceedings or 3%) and South Australia (down 622 proceedings or 2%). (Tables 27 and 29)

By contrast, increases in the number of court actions were seen in Tasmania (up 742 proceedings or 7%), New South Wales (up 672 proceedings or less than 1%), and the Australian Capital Territory (up 113 proceedings or 5%). (Tables 26, 30 and 32)

POLICE PROCEEDINGS, Court actions by selected states and territories(a), 2008–09 to 2017–18
Graph Image for POLICE PROCEEDINGS, Court actions by selected states and territories(a), 2008–09 to 2017–18
Footnotes: (a) Data for Western Australia and Northern Territory not published (see Explanatory Notes). (b) Data for the period 2008–09 to 2013–14 are not comparable to the data for 2014–15 and subsequent years (see Explanatory Notes). (c) Data for the period 2008–09 to 2014–15 are overstated (see Explanatory Notes).

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Commonwealth of Australia 2019

Across most jurisdictions with available data in 2017–18, the offences with the highest number of court action proceedings were:
  • Acts intended to cause injury
  • Illicit drug offences
  • Theft
  • Offences against justice (Tables 26–32)


NON–COURT ACTIONS

In 2017–18:
  • New South Wales had 138,741 non-court actions (58% of total proceedings)
  • South Australia had 34,700 non-court actions (54% of total proceedings)
  • Queensland had 28,934 non-court actions (18% of total proceedings)
  • Tasmania had 5,287 non-court actions (33% of total proceedings)
  • Australian Capital Territory had 937 non-court actions (26% of total proceedings) (Tables 26–32)

Between 2016–17 and 2017–18, decreases were recorded across all states and territories with available data for non-court actions, with the largest in:
  • New South Wales, down 5% (6,479 proceedings)
  • South Australia, down 5% (1,703 proceedings) (Tables 26–32)

For New South Wales the largest decrease was for Public order offences (down 3,644 proceedings or 13%) and Offences against justice (down 1,351 proceedings or 26%). These were partially offset by an increase in Miscellaneous offences (up 2,000 proceedings or 43%). (Table 26)

Across most jurisdictions with available data in 2017–18, the offences with the highest number of non-court action proceedings were:
  • Public order offences
  • Illicit drug offences
  • Theft
  • Miscellaneous offences (Tables 26–32)

Public order offences were more likely to result in a non-court action in all jurisdictions except for Queensland, where there were 14,152 court actions compared to 11,891 non-court action proceedings. (Tables 26–32)