4519.0 - Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/03/2010   
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March 18, 2010
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEST)

Police-initiated actions against offenders rose by 6%: ABS

Police proceeded against 344,300 alleged offenders aged 10 years or more, a 6% increase on the previous year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This represents 1,820 offenders per 100,000 people aged 10 years and over; a rise of 70 offenders per 100,000 persons in that age group from 2007-08.

Female offenders increased by 8% (to 77,300 offenders) between 2007-08 and 2008-09, while male offenders increased by 6% (to 266,000 offenders).

The most common principal offence for males was acts intended to cause injury (22%); for females it was theft (29%).

Youth offenders (10-19 years) comprised nearly a third (30%) of the total offender population, while offenders aged 15 to 19 accounted for the largest proportion (24%) of offenders in Australia, and had the highest offender rate (5,480 offenders per 100,000 people aged 15 to 19 years).

Male offending peaked at age 18 (9,500 offenders per 100,000 males aged 18 years) with police taking action against almost one in ten 18 year old males at least once during 2008-09. Female offending peaked earlier at 15 years of age, at 3,050 offenders per 100,000 females aged 15 years.

Excluding Western Australia, one in four (26%) of all offenders in 2008-09 were repeat offenders as they had been proceeded against by police on two or more separate occasions; 4% of offenders had been proceeded against five or more times.

More details are available in Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2008-09 (cat. no. 4519.0) available for free download from the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au>

Media Note: This publication presents national crime statistics relating to alleged offenders aged 10 years and over who were proceeded against by police during the 2008-09 reference period. Data comes from administrative systems maintained by state and territory police agencies. Each offender is assigned a principal offence (most serious offence) if more than one offence is committed.

When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.