4500.0 - Crime and Justice News, May 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/11/2002   
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Offender Based Statistics Collection

Work is progressing on the development of a collection of all offenders proceeded against and recorded by police. The Offender Based Statistics (OBS) collection will improve general knowledge about crime and the characteristics of the people/organisations who commit crime, as well as the level of contact police have with offenders. Information on offenders proceeded against by police will assist in bridging the gap that exists nationally between information that is known about victims of crime and the subset of persons who are proceeded against in the criminal courts. Offender information recorded by police provides valuable measures of the volume and characteristics of offenders at the widest part of the 'funnel' that forms the entry into the criminal justice system. Offender information also assists in evaluating the effect of crime and justice policy at the national level.

A draft of the proposed OBS framework has been developed, and was included in an OBS Manual distributed to all state and territory police agencies in June 2002. The Manual has been used as a guide for the extraction of OBS test data, which was received by all state and territory police agencies in early September 2002. The test data included: date of birth of offender, sex of offender, indigenous status of offender (where available), method of proceeding against the offender, and the number and types of offences.

The analysis of the test data will be presented for discussion at the November 2002 National Crime Statistics Advisory Group (NCSAG) and the December 2002 Police Statisticians' meetings. Following these discussions, the collection framework will be refined, as well as the development of a formal assessment and plan for the collection.

Sexual Assault Information Development Plan

The development of a Sexual Assault Information Development Plan (IDP) is being undertaken in the NCCJS, a project funded by the Commonwealth Office of the Status of Women. The IDP provides a conceptual framework for sexual assault, identifies key policy issues and related information needs, lists data sources currently available and identifies gaps in the data.

Aimed at the health and community services sectors as well as crime and justice sectors, some strategies are proposed to fill the gaps and to improve the utilisation and comparability of data. It is anticipated that this work will be published as an ABS Information Paper in March 2003.