4510.0 - Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/05/2002   
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Assault is the direct infliction of force, injury or violence upon a person, including attempts or threats, providing the attempts/threats are in the form of face-to-face direct confrontation and there is reason to believe that the attempts/threats can be immediately enacted.

Attempted murder

Attempted murder is the attempt to unlawfully kill another person by any means, act or omission.

Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC)

The ASOC is a hierarchical classification developed by the ABS for use in the collection and publication of crime and justice statistics. It provides a classificatory framework for the comparison of statistics on offences across Australia. It replaces the Australian National Classification of Offences and resulted both from the need to update the existing classification and to address its recognised deficiencies.


Blackmail/extortion is to demand or unlawfully obtain money, property or any other item of value, or a service either tangible or intangible, not from the immediate possession of the victim but through coercive measures. It may include the use or threat of force, misuse of authority (including threat of criminal prosecution), or the threat of destruction of the victim's reputation or social standing at some time in the future, if the demands are not met.

Note: it is distinguished from robbery in that there is the threat of further or continued coercive measures in the future instead of, or in addition to, an immediate threat.

Criminal incident

A criminal incident consists of one or more offences (and their related victims and offenders) which are grouped into the same unique occurrence if they are committed by the same person or group of persons and if:

  • they are part of actions committed simultaneously or in sequence over a short period of time at the same place; or
  • they are part of interrelated actions; that is, where one action leads to the other or where one is the consequence of the other(s); or
  • they involve the same action(s) repeated over a long period of time against the same victim(s) and come to the attention of the police at one point in time.

Driving causing death

Driving causing death is the unlawful killing of a person caused through culpable, dangerous or negligent driving.

Homicide and related offences

This is a recorded crime statistics offence category which includes the ASOC groups of murder (0111), attempted murder (0122), manslaughter (0131) and driving causing death (0132).


Kidnapping/abduction is the unlawful seizing or taking away of another person:
  • against that person's will; or
  • against the will of any parent, guardian or other person having lawful custody or care of that person.


Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a person caused:
  • without intent to kill, usually as a result of a careless, reckless or negligent act;
  • intentionally but due to extreme provocation; or
  • when in a state of mind that impairs the capacity to understand or control one's actions.

Motor vehicle theft

Motor vehicle theft is the taking of a motor vehicle unlawfully or without permission. This excludes damaging and tampering/interfering with a motor vehicle. Note: attempted motor vehicle theft is not included.
For the purposes of defining motor vehicle theft, a motor vehicle is a self-propelled vehicle that runs on land surface (but is not restricted to rails or tram lines) and is eligible for registration for use on public roads. This includes but is not limited to: car; motorcycle; campervan; truck; lorry; bus; grader; tractor.


Murder is the wilful killing of a person either intentionally or with reckless indifference to life.


An offence is an act considered prima facie to be in breach of the criminal law.

Offence category

An offence category is a broad class of offences which generally corresponds to the ASOC subdivisions.

Other theft

Other theft is the taking of another person's property with the intention of depriving the owner of the property illegally and without permission, but without force, threat of force, use of coercive measures, deceit or having gained unlawful entry to any structure even if the intent was to commit theft. Other theft includes the ASOC groups of theft of motor vehicle parts or contents (0813), theft from a person (0821), theft from retail premises (0823), theft, n.e.c. (0829) and illegal use of property (0841).

Outcome of investigation

The stage that a police investigation has reached after a period of 30 days has elapsed since the recording of the incident by police.
  • Investigation not finalised. While no offender has been proceeded against at the time of reporting the outcome, the investigation remains open. It is either being actively pursued by investigators, or is pending/suspended. That is, while not actively being investigated, the case would be reopened if new evidence emerged.
  • Investigation finalised, no offender proceeded against. The reported crime is determined to be unfounded, or has been withdrawn by the complainant, or while an alleged offender has been identified no action is able to be taken due to time limitations, a statute bar applying, diplomatic immunity, incompetence, death, age or imprisonment of the alleged offender.
  • Investigation finalised, offender proceeded against. One or more alleged offenders are intended to be proceeded against in court by arrest, warrant, summons, notice to appear, etc., or the alleged offenders are intended to be proceeded against by the convening of a diversionary conference, the administration of a formal caution or through some other legal process.

Relationship of offender to victim (ROV)

The relationship of offender to victim relates to only those offences where the victim is a person. The relationship is recorded according to the victim's perception of the relationship between the offender and the victim (with the exception of murder). In instances involving multiple offenders, the offender identified by the victim, or reporting officer, as the primary offender is used for determining the relationship of offender to victim. The following are categories of relationship of offender to victim:
  • Family member. This is where it is known that the offender is a family member of the victim. This category includes: partner, spouse, de facto, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, and in-laws, step- and half- relatives of the above.
  • Non-family member. This is where the offender is known to the victim and is not a family member. This category includes: ex-partner, ex-spouse, foster parent, guardian, acquaintance, friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, work colleague, housemate, neighbour, career, etc.


Robbery offences involve the unlawful taking of property, with intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property, from the immediate possession of a person, or an organisation, or control, custody or care of a person, accompanied by the use, and/or threatened use of immediate force or violence. Robbery victims can therefore be persons or organisations.

Robbery has been disaggregated into armed and unarmed by cross classifying total robbery with use of weapon information. Where a weapon was used in the committal of the offence, robbery is classified as armed otherwise it is classified as unarmed.

Sexual assault

Sexual assault is a physical assault of a sexual nature, directed toward another person where that person:
  • does not give consent; or
  • gives consent as a result of intimidation or fraud; or
  • is legally deemed incapable of giving consent because of youth or temporary/permanent incapacity.

Type of location

The initial site where a criminal incident occurred, determined on the basis of use or function. Any surrounding land, yard or parking area connected to the building or facility, as well as any other structures existing at the location are assigned to the same category of use. Locations which are multi functional are categorised according to their primary function, with the exception of a multi functional location which includes the provision of residential accommodation. Those parts used for residential purposes are classified to 'residential' regardless of the main function of the location. Thus, a residential college within university grounds is coded to 'residential' and not 'educational'.
  • Residential. A permanent or semi-permanent dwelling used for private or commercial residential purposes.
  • Community. Locations where the primary activity is the provision of services for public use. Includes schools and other educational facilities; hospitals, nursing homes and other health facilities; churches and other religious establishments; car parks, buses, trains, terminals and other transport facilities; police stations, court houses, and other justice facilities; streets and footpaths; and open space not reserved for specific functions or attached to some other facility.
  • Other. Includes offices and office blocks, banks, shops, service stations, warehouses, factories, farms and recreational facilities.

Unlawful entry with intent (UEWI)

The unlawful entry of a structure (either forced or unforced) with the intent to commit an offence such as theft, property damage, assault, etc. Includes burglary, break and enter and stealing. Excludes shop-stealing and stealing from a house or premise to which the offender has been invited or has legitimate access whereby the intent was unlawful but the entry was not. Also excludes trespass whereby entry is unlawful but there is no intent to commit an offence.
Structures must be contained (i.e. have walls) and capable of being secured in some form. They include a house, flat, tent, houseboat, caravan, campervan, garage, shed, office, bank, shop, service station, hotel, factory, warehouse, school, church, hospital or public building. Motor vehicles, carports, yards and verandahs are excluded.

For the purposes of determining the number of counts of UEWI, a place/premise is a single, connected property, containing one or more structures, all of which are occupied by the same person or group of people. The occupant(s) may own, rent, lease or otherwise inhabit the structure(s).
There are two offence categories of UEWI:
  • UEWI-involving the taking of property. The unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit a criminal act, resulting in the taking of property from the structure.
  • UEWI-other. The unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit a criminal act, but does not result in the taking of property from the structure.


The victim varies according to the offence category:
  • for murder and attempted murder, manslaughter and driving causing death, assault, sexual assault and kidnapping/abduction, the victim is an individual person;
  • for robbery, the victim may be either an individual person or an organisation. Where the robbery involves an organisation or business, the element of property ownership is the key to determining the number and type of robbery victims;
  • if the robbery only involves property belonging to an organisation, then one victim (i.e. the organisation) is counted regardless of the number of employees from which the property is taken. However, if robbery of an organisation also involves personal property in an employee's custody, then both the organisation and employee(s) are counted as victims;
  • for blackmail/extortion, the victim may be either an individual person or an organisation;
  • for UEWI, the victim is the place/premise which is defined as a single connected property that is owned, rented or occupied by the same person or group of people;
  • for motor vehicle theft, the victim is the motor vehicle; and
  • for other theft, the victim is either an individual person or an organisation.


A weapon is defined as any object used to cause injury or fear of injury. It also includes imitation weapons and implied weapons (e.g. where a weapon is not seen by the victim but the offender claims to possess one). Parts of the body such as fists or feet are not included. The following are categories of weapons.
  • Weapon n.f.d.: where a weapon was used, sighted or implied during the commission of the offence but the nature of the weapon is unknown or cannot be identified.
  • Firearm: any potentially lethal, barrelled weapon from which any shot, bullet, or other missile is able, or appears able, to be discharged. This includes but is not limited to: pistol; revolver; rifle; automatic/semi-automatic rifle; shotgun; military firearm; airgun; nail gun; cannon; imitation firearm; implied firearm. This excludes bow and arrow; crossbow; spear gun; blowgun.
  • Knife: any cutting instrument consisting essentially of a thin blade attached to a handle. This includes, but is not limited to: ballistic knife, sheath knife, kitchen knife and implied knife. It excludes scythe, sickle sword and axe.
  • Syringe: (hypodermic needle) small device consisting of a tube, narrowed at its outlet, and fitted with either a piston or a rubber bulb for drawing in a quantity of fluid and ejecting it in a stream.
  • Other weapon: includes any instrument or substance, other than a firearm, knife or syringe capable of inflicting damage, injury or death. This includes but is not limited to: sharp instrument; blunt instrument; hammer; axe; club; iron bar; piece of wood; bow and arrow; crossbow; spear gun; blowgun; rope; wire; chemical; acid; explosive; vehicle; other dangerous article; imitation weapons (excluding firearms).