4515.0 - Federal Defendants, Australia, 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/06/2014   
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5 June 2014
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra Time)
Federal offences increase, federal defendants decrease

The number of federal offences finalised in Australia's criminal courts increased by nine per cent in 2012-13, despite a four per cent decrease in the number of federal defendants, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today.

William Milne, ABS Director of Crime and Justice Statistics, said that today's Federal Defendants publication revealed an increase in offences against justice and abduction and harassment offences. The number of offences against justice increased by 27 per cent to 19,176 offences. Abduction and harassment numbers increased by 33 per cent to 4,154 offences in 2012-13.

In total, 41,904 federal offences were finalised by the courts in 2012-13, committed by 10,454 defendants. The average number of offences per defendant increased from 3.5 in 2011-12 to 4.0 in 2012-13.

"Offences against justice was the most common offence, comprising of 46 per cent of all federal offences, followed by fraud at 25 per cent," said Mr Milne.

Over two-thirds of federal defendants were proven guilty, with three per cent acquitted. Of those defendants proven guilty, 11 per cent, or 800 defendants, were sentenced to custody in a correctional institution. A further three per cent received fully suspended sentences, while 85 per cent were given non-custodial orders such as monetary orders.

Further information can be found in Federal Defendants, Australia, 2012-13 (cat. no 4515.0), available for free download from the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au).

Media notes:
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • 'Abduction and harassment' refers to 'Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person' in the ANZSOC classification.
  • 'Fraud' refers to 'Fraud, deception and related offences' in the ANZSOC classification.
  • 'Offences against justice' refers to 'Offences against justice procedures, government security and government operations' in the ANZSOC classification.
  • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.