4500.0 - Crime and Justice News, Jul 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/07/2009   
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Australian Standard Offence Classification (Second Edition)

The ABS has completed its review of the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), 1997 (cat. no. 1234.0) to support improvements in the comparability of offence data across administrative collections. The ASOC provides a uniform national statistical framework for classifying criminal behaviour in the production and analysis of crime and justice statistics. The ASOC is used in the ABS statistical collections, and in Australian police, criminal courts and corrective services agencies.

The review involved external consultations with a range of users in the crime and justice field to identify aspects of the ASOC requiring revision. Information sought through consultation included new developments in legislation, emerging areas of crime, useful re-groupings of offences and general comment and opinion about the structure of the classification. The revised classification accommodates changes that have occurred in the criminal law during the decade since the first edition of the ASOC was published in 1997. These revisions serve to maintain the relevance of the classification as a statistical tool, while maintaining comparability and continuity between the first and second editions of ASOC. The Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC) 2008 (Second Edition) (cat. no. 1234.0) supercedes the first edition of the ASOC (1997) and was released in August 2008.

Related Releases

See National Offence Index.

Conceptual Framework for Family and Domestic Violence

One of the priority areas for statistical developed identified in the National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics, 2005 (NIDP) (cat. no. 4520.0) was to develop an evidence base about family and domestic violence (FDV). This evidence base would assist the criminal justice system and related fields to more effectively respond to FDV, and inform intervention strategies to decrease its incidence and prevalence.

In order to further this priority, the Conceptual Framework for Family and Domestic Violence was developed. The Conceptual Framework illustrates relationships between the key elements of family and domestic violence, such as: context, risk, incident, responses, impacts/outcomes, and programs, research and evaluation. The Framework also provides a basic common language and agreed parameters around elements of the field of family and domestic violence. Such parameters should help to alleviate the difficulties arising from the multi-disciplinary nature of FDV and the associated mix of definitions used.

The Framework is intended to assist an understanding of concepts in the collection of statistical information for FDV, and enable consideration of key indicators, existing resources and data needs. The Conceptual Framework for Family and Domestic Violence (cat. no. 4529.0) was published in May 2009. The Framework lays the groundwork for potential future work to further develop the FDV evidence base.

National Offence Index

Following the release of the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), 2008, (Second Edition) (cat. no. 1234.0) in August 2008, the ABS has subsequently revised a related tool, the National Offence Index (NOI).

The NOI is a tool which provides an ordinal ranking of the offence categories in the ASOC, according to perceived seriousness in order to determine a principal offence. The purpose of the NOI is to enable the representation of an offender by a single offence in instances where multiple offences within the same incident or where defendants have multiple charges in criminal cases. That is determine the principal offence for that offender based on the most serious offence or charge.

This Index will be published for the first time in its own right on the 23 July 2009 and supersedes the first version of the NOI released in 2002 in the Criminal Courts, Australia (cat. no. 4513.0) publication.

This Index is to be used in conjunction with the second edition of the ASOC

Related releases

See Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC).

Recorded Crime, Offenders

The first issue of Recorded Crime - Offenders, Australia (cat. no. 4519.0) is scheduled to be released on 27 August 2009. Offender statistics will provide data relating to the number and characteristics of alleged offenders who have been proceeded against by police during the financial year 2007-08.

The publication will provide a profile of alleged offenders, including their age, sex, Indigenous status, principal offence, how often they have been proceeded against by police within the reference period, as well as a count of proceedings that may result in court actions. Data will be available for all states and territories, except Western Australia.