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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In November 1990 an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) was made between the Commonwealth and the states and territories concerning the establishment of the National Crime Statistics Unit (NCSU) as a National Common Police Service, with a role to initiate, coordinate and oversee the development and production of national uniform crime statistics. The statistics contained in this publication are derived from administrative systems maintained by the state and territory police. Although national standards and classifications are used, differences over time in the level of recorded crime may reflect factors other than a change in the incidence of crime.


Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia (cat. no. 4510.0) presents statistics on incidents of victimisation for a selected range of offences that come to the attention of police and are recorded by them. The scope of this collection includes victims of attempted and completed offences classified to divisions and/or subdivisions of the Australian Standard Offence Classification (ASOC), first edition 1997. Depending on the type of offence, a victim can be a person, a premises, an organisation or a motor vehicle. Selected offences include:

homicide and related offences (including murder, attempted murder and manslaughter, but excluding driving causing death)
sexual assault
unlawful entry with intent
motor vehicle theft
other theft.

Outputs include:

victim counts for selected offences (for Australia and states/territories)
victim details (age of victim, sex of victim) for offences where the victim is a person
Indigenous status and relationship of offender to victim is included for selected offences and selected states/territories
type of location where the criminal incident occurred
use of weapon in the commission of the offence
victim counts for selected offences by outcome of investigation at 30 days

National data are available for all offences excluding assault and sexual assault as these offence types are not comparable for jurisdictional comparisons; national data for these offences are available from the National Crime and Safety Survey and the Personal Safety Survey. Assault and sexual assault data are available for individual states and territories.


The Recorded Crime - Victims collection is conducted annually for a selected range of offences recorded by police during the reference period of 1 January - 31 December. Information from the collection is generally released within six months of the reference period.


In order to ensure consistency in the data for each state and territory, recorded crime statistics are compiled according to national standards and classifications. Over time, significant changes in the business rules, procedures, systems, policies and recording practices of police agencies across Australia have resulted in some discrepancies in data between states and territories for some offences. Short term effects on the level of crime recorded by police may also occur as a result of individual jurisdictional initiatives, such as special task forces formed to combat particular offences, or implementation of proactive policing campaigns to encourage reporting by the public.

Findings from the Differences in Recorded Crime Statistics (DiRCS) project released in 2005 indicated that data for assault and sexual assault were not comparable across all states and territories. As a consequence of the lack of data comparability for assault and sexual assault, national data for these offence types are not available and the data provided in this publication for individual states and territories should not be used for cross-jurisdiction comparisons. Indexes are provided to assist in interpreting change over time within each jurisdiction. These indexes show movements in victimisation rates over time by comparing each offence group for each year with that offence group in a base year.

Where offences reported in the reference year are not processed for inclusion in the national statistics until the following year, revised data are included in subsequent publications and noted accordingly. Revisions to historical data are made when new information about the comparability of data over time is identified. This may occur when errors or omissions are identified in the administrative data supplied to the ABS in prior years.


A National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) has been developed to address the lack of a uniform standard in the initial police recording processes. This standard will complement the already established classifications and counting rules for the Recorded Crime - Victims collection and improve the level of comparability of these statistics across jurisdictions. The date of implementing the NCRS varied across Australia and was based on operational capacity to implement.

The collection uses the ASOC (1997) to classify offences and applies a set of national counting rules to establish the number of victims.

Due to differing scope and counting rules the data in the Recorded Crime - Victims publication may not be comparable to data published in other national and state/territory publications.

A number of legislative and administrative system changes have occurred over time and the statistical impact of these changes are detailed in the Explanatory Notes.


The Recorded Crime - Victims publication contains detailed Explanatory Notes, Appendices and Glossary that provide information on the data sources, counting rules, terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.


In addition to the information provided in the publication, a series of supplementary Data Cubes are also available providing detailed breakdowns by states and territories.

If the information you require is not available from the publication or the data cubes, then the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics may be able to help you with a customised service to suit your needs. Email: <crime.justice@abs.gov.au>