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Increased physical assaults in 2011-12
The number of physical assaults in 2011-12 rose to 2.2 million, up 44 per cent since 2010-11, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today.
Director of the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics, Fiona Dowsley, said, “The number of victims hasn’t changed significantly over time, however the number of incidents of physical assault rose in the last year, from 1.5 million incidents in 2010-11 to 2.2 million incidents in 2011-12.
“Three per cent of Australians over 15 were victims of physical assault, compared to 2.7 per cent in 2010-11.
“The proportion of victims who experienced three or more incidents of physical assault increased from around a quarter of victims (26%) in 2010-11 to a third (33%) in 2011-12.”
Ms Dowsley highlighted that around 49 per cent of all incidents of physical assault in 2011-12 were reported to the police, either by the victim or someone else.
“Physical assaults include acts such as being pushed, grabbed, shoved, choked, shot, burnt, being hit with something such as a bat or being deliberately hit by a vehicle and could occur in public or in the home,” Ms Dowsley said.
In addition to physical assault, personal crimes reported in this publication include face-to-face threatened assault, non face-to-face threatened assault, robbery and sexual assault. Of those, only non face-to-face threatened assault saw an increase in the number of victims over the past year. Non face-to-face threatened assault includes threats made over the phone, via email or social media.
“We found the number of victims of non face-to-face threatened assault rose nearly 25% from 170,700 in 2010-11 to 213,100 in 2011-12.” Ms Dowsley said.
The publication also measures household crime which includes break-in, attempted break-in, motor vehicle theft, theft of property from a motor vehicle, malicious property damage and other types of theft (for example, theft of property from a yard or from someone else’s house or motor vehicle).
“In the household crime data, we found that only malicious property damage changed in the last year in Australia, decreasing from 722,800 victims in 2010-11 to 649,900 victims in 2011-12,” Ms Dowsley said.
The Crime Victimisation publication provides estimates for the number of victims over 15 years of age of selected types of crime and the proportion of these crimes that are reported to the police.
Further information can be found in the Crime Victimisation, Australia (cat. no 4530.0) available for free download from the ABS web site www.abs.gov.au
Media note: when reporting on ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
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