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VICTIMS(a), Change in number from 2001 to 2002
(a) The definition of a victim varies according to the category of the offence.
The largest numerical decreases across offence categories between 2001 and 2002 were for victims of unlawful entry with intent (down 41,380), motor vehicle theft (26,505) and other theft (20,677).
In 2002, the victimisation rate (number of victims per 100,000 population) for unlawful entry with intent (2001 per 100,000 population) and motor vehicle theft (575 per 100,000 population) were the lowest since the commencement of the national Recorded Crime collection in 1993, while the robbery victimisation rate (106 per 100,000 population) was the lowest since 1995.
The offence categories, for which there were increases between 2001 and 2002 in numbers of incidents recorded, included sexual assault (6%) and assault (5%). Manslaughter (29%) and murder (2%) also increased, but a 21% decrease in the number of victims of driving causing death and a 14% decrease in attempted murders resulted in an overall decrease in victims for the homicide and related offences category.
The assault victimisation rate increased by 44% from 563 to 810 per 100,000 population between 1995 and 2002. Assault was the only offence category to show a consistently increasing trend in the rate of victimisation over this period. The sexual assault victimisation rate increased from 69 to 91 per 100,000 population between 1993 and 2002 and was at its highest level since the commencement of the collection in 1993. In contrast, murder, attempted murder and manslaughter victimisation rates remained fairly stable over this period and were 2 per 100,000 population, 2 per 100,000 population and less than 1 per 100,000 population respectively in 2002.
Sex of Victim
Males were more likely than females to be victims, for which a report to police was recorded, of robbery (70% of victims were male), blackmail/extortion (69%), attempted murder (66%), driving causing death (62%), murder (60%) and assault (57%). Females were more likely to be the victims of sexual assault (80%) and kidnapping/abduction (62%).
Age of victim
Persons aged 24 years or less comprised the majority of recorded victims of sexual assault (72% were aged 24 years or less), kidnapping/abduction (64%) and robbery (51%), while they comprised less than 1 in 4 victims of blackmail/extortion (23%) and murder (24%).
Children aged 10-14 years and persons aged 15-19 years were 3 times more likely to be recorded as a victim of sexual assault than the total population. Persons aged 15-19 were also 3 times more likely to be a victim of kidnapping/abduction and robbery than the general population. Persons aged 20-24 had the highest assault victimisation rate of 1,729 per 100,000 population, which is over twice the recorded victimisation rate of the total population (810 per 100,000 population).
LOCATION OF OFFENCE
For murder, attempted murder, assault and sexual assault, the victim was most likely to have been subjected to the offence in a residential location. This was especially the case for victims of sexual assault where more than 2 in 3 victims were sexually assaulted in a residential location. More than 3 in 5 victims of kidnapping/abduction were taken from a street or other community location, with about 1 in 5 taken from a residence.
For unlawful entry with intent, the location was most likely to be a residential dwelling (65%), while for robbery and motor vehicle theft, approximately 4 in 10 victims were subjected to an offence on the street/footpath. For those offences which occurred in a community location, a street/footpath was the most frequent location for each offence type, with the exception of sexual assault and unlawful entry with intent.
A weapon was most likely to have been used in an attempted murder (75%) and murder (53%), and least likely in sexual assault (2%). With the exception of assault, a knife was the most common type of weapon used and was involved in 35% of attempted murders, 23% of murders and 19% of robberies. A firearm was involved in 22% of attempted murders, 13% of murders and 6% of robberies. The largest number of victims where a syringe was used as a weapon was for the offences of robbery (350 victims ) and assault (161 victims).
Between 1993 and 2002 the proportion of murders, attempted murders and robberies involving the use of a weapon decreased, while the proportion of kidnapping/abduction offences involving the use of a weapon nearly doubled from 10% in 1993 to 19% in 2002. The proportion of murders involving the use of a weapon peaked in 1996 at 78% while the proportion of attempted murders involving the use of a weapon peaked in 1997 at 87%.
The proportion of robberies where a weapon was used has fluctuated from 36% in 1994 and 1995 to 46% in 1998. Since 1998, this proportion has declined to 37%. For those robberies that involved the use of a weapon, the proportion of offences involving firearms decreased from 37% in 1993 to 15% in 2002.
OUTCOME OF INVESTIGATION
At 30 days after an offence became known to police in 2002, over half of the investigations into attempted murder (63%), murder (60%), manslaughter (58%) and assault (58%) had been finalised. The offences with the lowest proportion of finalisations at 30 days were unlawful entry with intent (7%), motor vehicle theft (11%), other theft (14%) and robbery (21%).
Of those investigations finalised, police were most likely to have proceeded against an offender at 30 days for homicide and related offences: driving causing death (100%), attempted murder (89%), murder (88%), and manslaughter (81%). Offences involving other theft (not including motor vehicle thefts) and unlawful entry with intent had a low proportion of finalisations at 30 days, but of those that were finalised, a high proportion were proceeded against by police (85% and 80% respectively). The offence categories which had the highest proportion of investigations finalised where there was no offender proceeded against included sexual assault (49%) and kidnapping/abduction (34%)
TABLE 1 VICTIMS(a), By Offence Category-2002
TABLE 2 VICTIMS(a), By Offence Category-2002 compared with 2001(b)
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