4510.0 - Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2008 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2009   
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June 4, 2009
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEST)
Robberies fall in 2008, car theft hits all time low: ABS

Robberies reported to police dropped 8% in 2008, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In total 16,500 victims reported a robbery to police; 1,500 less than the previous year .

This was a victimisation rate of 77 victims per 100,000 people - down from 86 victims per 100,000 people in 2007.

Most of this was due to a drop in the number of armed robberies (900 less victims), although unarmed robberies also fell (500 less).

Young men were nearly four times as likely to be a victim of robbery than women; the highest victimisation rate was for males aged between 15 and 19 years (385 victims per 100,000 males), while for women, the highest rate was for those aged 20-24 years (95 victims per 100,000 women).

Weapons were involved in 41% of all robberies. Knives were the most common weapon, used in nearly half (48%) of all robbery incidents involving a weapon.

Just under half (48%) of all robberies occurred on a street or footpath, while nearly one-quarter (22%) occurred at retail premises such as malls, chemists, service stations, restaurants, and supermarkets.

Motor vehicle theft hit its lowest level since national reporting began - 68,000 vehicles in 2008 compared to 112,000 vehicles in 1993.

Increases occurred in manslaughter (up 7%), kidnapping/abduction (7%), murder (2%) and other theft (1%) while falls were seen in attempted murder (down 6%) unlawful entry with intent and vehicle theft (both 3%) and blackmail/extortion (1%) compared to 2007.

Snapshot of 2008 data for selected states and territories*
  • Most victims of homicide in New South Wales knew their offender (61% or 93 victims).
  • In Victoria, a higher proportion of male sexual assault victims reported they knew their offender than female victims (81% and 73% respectively).
  • In the Northern Territory, a large proportion of female victims of assault (43% or 1,300 victims) reported that the offender was a partner.
  • In Queensland nearly half of all victims of assault reported that they knew the offender (49% or 9,400 victims.
  • Half of all kidnapping and abduction victims in South Australia knew their offender (51% or 30 victims).
  • Just over half (51% or 1,300) of Indigenous victims of assault in the Northern Territory who reported they knew the offender, identified their partner as the offender. In contrast, 16% (100 victims) of non-Indigenous victims who knew their assailant reported their partner as the offender.
  • In New South Wales the assault victimisation rate for Indigenous people was 3,800 victims per 100,000 Indigenous persons. This was over 3.5 times higher than the rate for non-Indigenous people (1,030 per 100,000 non-Indigenous persons).

Media Note: This publication presents national crime statistics relating to victims of a selected range of offences that have been recorded by police. *Data for the offences of sexual assault and assault are not comparable across states and territories therefore these data should not be used for comparative purposes. Not all states and territories were able to provide data about Indigenous victims or the relationship of an offender to a victim.

More details are available in Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 4510.0).