4510.0 - Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2002  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/05/2003   
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May 29, 2003
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Fall in the number of recorded victims of crime

The number of recorded crime victims in Australia across most offence categories decreased in 2002, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This was particularly the case for offences related to the taking of property.

Compared to 2001, decreases were recorded in the following offences related to the taking of property in 2002:
  • Victims of armed robbery (decreased by 30%);
  • Motor vehicle theft (decreased by 19%);
  • Unarmed robbery (decreased by 14%);
  • Unlawful entry with intent (decreased by 9%); and
  • Other theft (decreased by 3%).

In 2002, other offence categories to record a decrease included driving causing death (21%), attempted murder (14%), kidnapping/abduction (9%) and blackmail/extortion (3%).

In contrast, there were increases in the number of recorded victims of manslaughter (29%), sexual assault (6%), assault (5%) and murder (2%). Since 1995, the victimisation rate for recorded assault has increased every year.

Other findings include:
  • The proportion of robberies involving the use of a weapon declined from 42% in 2001 to 37% in 2002;
  • A knife was the most common type of weapon used in all offence categories (excluding assault) and was involved in 35% of attempted murders, 23% of murders and 19% of robberies;
  • Males were more likely to be the victim in all recorded offence categories except sexual assault and kidnapping/abduction;
  • The victimisation rate for sexual assault was highest for males in the 10-14 year age group (90 per 100,000 population), while for females it was highest in the 15-19 year age group (499 per 100,000 population);
  • Murder, attempted murder, assault and sexual assault were more likely to have occurred in a residential location;
  • Approximately 4 in 10 victims of robbery and motor vehicle theft were subjected to an offence on the street/footpath;
  • At 30 days after an offence became known to police, over half the victims of attempted murder (63%), murder (60%), manslaughter (58%) and assault (58%) had their investigation finalised; and
  • In approximately half of sexual assault investigations and one-third of kidnapping/abduction investigations which had been finalised, there was no proceeding against the offender.

Further information is in Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2002 (cat. no. 4510.0).