4530.0 - Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2014-15 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/02/2016   
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17 February 2016
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Physical assault falls to seven year low

The ABS’ Crime Victimisation Survey in 2014-15 found that the rate of physical assault for persons aged 15 years and over is the lowest (2.1 per cent or 400,400) since the survey was first conducted in 2008-09.

The Survey also found that national rates have been trending downward for face-to-face threatened assault (2.6 per cent or 491,900 persons), malicious property damage (5.7 per cent or 511,400 households) and theft from a motor vehicle (2.9 per cent or 254,700 households).

William Milne of the ABS' National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics said the number of people who experienced physical assault and face-to-face threatened assault has declined over time. The level of alcohol and/or drug involvement in these offences has declined at a similar rate.

"The proportion of people who indicated that they believed alcohol and/or drugs contributed to their most recent incident has remained fairly steady. In 2014-15, three in five (62 per cent) of those experiencing physical assault and half (49 per cent) of those experiencing face-to-face threatened assault believed alcohol and/or drugs contributed,” Mr Milne said.

The Crime Victimisation Survey also asks respondents about their experiences of multiple incidents of selected personal and household offences. Repeat occurrences are more likely for personal crimes than household crimes.

“Half (51 per cent) of all persons who experienced physical assault and just under two-thirds (63 per cent) of all persons who experienced threatened assault experienced more than one incident of each of these offences in the 12-month period. About one in five (19 per cent) persons who experienced face-to-face threatened assault experienced six or more incidents,” Mr Milne said.

The Crime Victimisation publication provides information about people’s experiences for a selected range of personal and household crimes, including whether the most recent incident was reported to police, the socio-demographic characteristics of persons experiencing the offences, and the characteristics of the most recent incident they experienced.

Further information can be found in Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2014-15 (cat. no. 4530.0).

Media Note:

  • Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30am - 5pm Monday to Friday).