4530.0 - Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/02/2010  First Issue
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For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The main purpose of this survey was to collect information on the experience of crime victimisation for people aged 15 years and over (or 18 years and over for incidents of sexual assault). The type of information collected included people's feelings of safety, their perceptions of neighbourhood problems, and their experience of selected personal crimes (physical assault, threatened assault, robbery and sexual assault) and selected household crimes (break-ins, attempted break-ins, motor vehicle theft, theft from a motor vehicle, malicious property damage and other theft). Information was collected from one person selected at random in each selected household.

Data for this survey were collected as part of the Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS), a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). The scope of the LFS is restricted to people aged 15 years and over and excludes members of the permanent defence forces; certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from census and estimated resident populations; overseas residents in Australia; and members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants). Refer to Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for further information regarding the LFS. In addition, the 2008-09 MPHS excluded people living in very remote parts of Australia and people living in non-private dwellings such as hotels, university residences, students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities), and inmates of prisons.


Crime victimisation data for 2008-09 were collected as part of the MPHS, which was collected from July 2008 to June 2009 as a supplement to the monthly LFS. The survey reference period was the 12 months prior to the survey interview. Data from the survey are released in February 2010, approximately eight months after completion of enumeration.


The initial total sample for the crime victimisation topic included in the MPHS 2008-09 consisted of 34,513 private dwelling households, approximately double the standard MPHS sample. Of the 29,261 private dwelling households that remained in the survey after sample loss, approximately 25,601 or 87% were fully responding to the crime victimisation topic. The exclusion of people living in very remote parts of Australia had only a minor impact on aggregate estimates, except for the Northern Territory where these people account for about 23% of the population.

Two types of error are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error. Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures. Non-sampling error also arises because information cannot be obtained from all persons selected in the survey.

Sampling error occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. One measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all dwellings in the survey is given by the standard error. There are about two chances in three a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included in the survey, and about 19 chances in 20 the difference will be less than two standard errors. Measures of the relative standard error for this survey are included with this release.


The ABS 2008-09 Crime Victimisation Survey has been redesigned, which means data presented in this release cannot be compared to previous crime and safety data.

The ABS conducted National Crime and Safety Surveys in 1975, 1983, 1993, 1998, 2002 and 2005. In 2006-07, a review of the survey found a need for more timely and regular crime victimisation headline indicators on an annual basis, and the need for flexibility to cater for new and emerging areas of crime.

Consistent with the findings of this review, the national Crime Victimisation Survey will be conducted annually from 2008-09 using a different survey vehicle, the MPHS, which is run as a supplement to the LFS. The survey is conducted by telephone, rather than the mail-out mail-back method used for the survey in the past. Furthermore, questions about non face-to-face threatened assault, theft from a motor vehicle, malicious property damage and other theft have been added to the survey; a number of questions have been altered; and some data collected in the 2005 National Crime and Safety Survey have not been collected in 2008-09. These changes result in a break in series, and data are not comparable to previous crime and safety data. Therefore, a new time series will begin from this period.

The terms used to describe the various types of offences in this publication may not necessarily correspond with legal or police definitions.


The Crime Victimisation, Australia publication contains tables with footnoted data and a Summary of Findings to aid interpretation of the survey's results. Detailed Explanatory Notes, a Technical Note and a Glossary are also included to provide information on the terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.


In addition to the Adobe PDF publication, the tables and associated relative standard errors are available in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet form on the website.

Additional data may be available on request. For a list of data items see the Downloads tab of the publication. Note that detailed data can be subject to high relative standard errors and, in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised.

An expanded confidentialised unit record file (cat. no. 4100.0) will be produced for this survey and is expected to be released in May 2010. For further details refer to the Services, CURF Microdata section on the ABS website.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Centre on 1300 135 070.