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Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia methodology

Reference period
2019
Released
9/07/2020

How the data is collected

Recorded Crime - Victims presents statistics relating to victims of crime for a selected range of offences as recorded by police. These offences may have been reported by a victim, witness or other person, or they may have been detected by police. These statistics are not designed to provide a total count of unique victims, nor the total number of individual offences that came to the attention of police.

Statistics in this publication are:

  • created from data held in administrative systems which are collected and maintained by police agencies within each state and territory
  • collected by the ABS and compiled according to the National Crime Recording Standard in order to maximise consistency between states and territories
  • produced annually on a calendar year basis

Scope

The scope of this collection includes victims of offences classified to selected divisions and/or subdivisions of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC). A victim can be a person, premises, organisation, or motor vehicle depending on the type of offence.

Selected offence categories are:

  • Homicide and related offences (including murder, attempted murder and manslaughter, but excluding driving causing death and conspiracy to murder) - ANZSOC division 01
  • Assault - ANZSOC subdivision 021
  • Sexual assault - ANZSOC subdivision 031
  • Abduction and kidnapping - ANZSOC subdivision 051
  • Robbery - ANZSOC subdivision 061
  • Blackmail and extortion - ANZSOC subdivision 062
  • Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter - ANZSOC division 07
  • Motor vehicle theft - ANZSOC groups 0811 and 0812
  • Other theft - ANZSOC groups 0813, 0821, 0823, 0829 and 0841

Statistics in this publication relate to both completed and attempted offences, i.e. those where the intent is not fulfilled. Attempts to commit an offence are classified to the same ANZSOC divisions and/or subdivisions as completed offences, with the exception of:

  • Murder, where murder and attempted murder are distinguished as separate offence categories
  • Attempted motor vehicle thefts due to difficulties in distinguishing these offences from criminal damage

The scope excludes the following:

  • Conspiracy offences
  • Threats to commit an offence (An exception to this exclusion is assault where there is an apprehension that the direct threat of force, injury, or violence could be enacted, which is in-scope of the collection. This also applies to offences like robbery, kidnapping/abduction and blackmail/extortion where an element of threat is implicit in the nature of the crime)
  • Aid, abet and accessory offences
  • Deprivation of liberty offences
  • Where an outcome of investigation determines ‘no crime’ was committed i.e. the offence was reported to police but later deemed to be unfounded, false, or baseless; counts are excluded from the data.
  • Victims of crime as recorded by the Australian Federal Police (AFP). As such, victims of crime in Australia’s ‘other territories’ such as Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Jervis Bay Territory are out of scope as these territories are under AFP jurisdiction.

How the data is processed

Counting unit

Data are compiled on the basis of the date an offence is reported to police and recorded within the reference period. This corresponds to either the date the offence was reported to police by a member of the public or when it was detected by police, and was recorded on police systems. The report date may not necessarily be the date when the offence occurred. This is particularly the case for homicide and related offences and sexual assault, where in some instances there may be a large time difference between when the offence(s) occurred and the report/detection date.

The definition of victim varies according to the offence category, and can either be a person, premises, organisation, or motor vehicle.

  • For murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, assault, sexual assault and kidnapping/abduction, the victim is an individual person.
  • For robbery, the victim may be either an individual person or an organisation. Where the robbery involves an organisation or business, the element of property ownership is the key to determining the number and type of robbery victims. If the robbery only involves property belonging to an organisation, then one victim (i.e. the organisation) is counted regardless of the number of employees from which the property is taken. However, if robbery of an organisation also involves personal property in an employee's custody, then both the organisation and employee(s) are counted as victims.
  • For blackmail/extortion, the victim may be either an individual person or an organisation.
  • For unlawful entry with intent, the victim is the place/premise which is defined as a single connected property that is owned, rented or occupied by the same person or group of people.
  • For motor vehicle theft, the victim is the motor vehicle.
  • For other theft, the victim is either an individual person or an organisation.

The Recorded Crime – Victims collection does not enumerate unique persons or organisations. If a person is a victim of one offence, they will be counted once in this publication. If a person:

  • is a victim of the same offence multiple times in the same incident, the victim is counted once
  • is a victim of the same offence multiple times in different incidents throughout the year, the victim is counted once for each incident
  • is a victim of multiple offences in the same incident that fall within the same offence category, the victim is counted once, and the lowest ANZSOC code recorded within that offence category is recorded as the offence
  • is a victim of multiple offences that fall in different offence categories, the victim is counted once in each of the different categories, meaning one victim can be presented multiple times under different offence categories

The following diagram illustrates the counting rules for the Recorded Crime – Victims collection. It demonstrates how one unique person who has been a victim of five offences is counted three times, due to the types of offences committed.

    Diagram showing an example of the counting rules being applied for Recorded Crime - Victims. Please refer to description.
    A person is recorded by police as a victim of: Serious assault resulting in injury (ANZSOC 0211), Serious assault not resulting in injury (ANZSOC 0212), Aggravated sexual assault (ANZSOC 0311), Non-aggravated sexual assault (ANZSOC 0312) and Abduction and kidnapping (ANZSOC 0511). This victim would be counted three times in the data: one count under Assault, a second count under Sexual assault and a third count under Abduction/kidnapping.

    Other examples of how different victim scenarios are counted are explained below:

    • If a victim is assaulted by several offenders or a victim is repeatedly assaulted by the same offender, but reports the victimisation to police as part of the same incident, the victim would be counted once for assault.
    • On the other hand, if a victim reports these offences to police as separate incidents, then a count is made for each separate report.
    • If a bank with several customers present is robbed, one robbery is counted, with the victim being the bank. If personal property is also taken from two customers, there would be three victims; the bank and the two customers.
    • One victim is counted for each motor vehicle stolen. For example, if five cars are stolen from a car yard, this is counted as five motor vehicle thefts.

    For the offence of unlawful entry with intent (UEWI) the following applies:

    • One victim is counted for each place/premises victimised, which can consist of either a single structure (e.g. house), part of a single structure (e.g. flat), or multiple structures (e.g. farmstead with house, barns and sheds). The same property containing the same structure(s) can be counted differently depending on the occupancy arrangements at the time.
    • For multiple structures on the same property with the same occupant(s), one victim is counted regardless of the number of separate structures unlawfully entered with intent. This would apply to a house with attached or unattached garage and a backyard shed located on the one property; and warehouses occupied by a sole organisation located on the same property.
    • For multiple structures on the same property, but occupied by more than one household or organisation, one victim is counted for each separate household or organisation. Where a business premises has an attached residence that is occupied by the same person(s), the registered business is considered to be a separate victim.
    • In the case of UEWI to individual areas in a building that is rented, leased or occupied separately, one victim is counted for each separate tenant/owner. For example, in a block of 10 flats leased by 10 different tenants where three flats are unlawfully entered, there would be a count of three UEWIs. If unlawful entry to the building itself is recorded, an additional offence of UEWI to that building is counted. This instance would apply to apartments in one building, offices of several commercial firms in one business building, shops in a shopping complex, hotel rooms and lodging houses.

    Age of victims

    The age of a victim as presented in this publication refers to the age the victim was at the time they became known to police, rather than the age that the person was when they experienced victimisation. For example, if a victim was sexually assaulted at age 14 years but did not report the offence to police until they were 18 years of age, their age in this publication would be 18 years.

    Preliminary analysis indicates that the proportion of historical offences present in the Recorded Crime – Victims data differs by offence grouping. Sexual assault counts in particular, have the highest proportion of offences that were committed more than 12 months ago. Care should be exercised when interpreting age data for sexual assault victims.

    Indigenous status

    Indigenous status is based on self-identification by the individual who comes into contact with police. The quality of the data are dependent on police asking individuals to self-identify and responses being recorded on police systems. Where individuals are not able to provide an answer for themselves, jurisdictions may accept a response where a next of kin/guardian provides the information. Where neither occurs, the victim is recorded with an Indigenous status of ‘not stated’.

    This publication presents Indigenous status data for a selected range of personal offences for New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory. Based on an ABS data quality assessment, Indigenous status data for other jurisdictions are not of sufficient quality for national reporting within the Recorded Crime -Victims collection.

    Download
    Proportion of victims with an Indigenous status of ‘not stated’, Selected states and territories, 2019
    OffenceNSWQldSANT
    Homicide and related offences16.422.30.00.0
    Assault22.1np4.45.8
    Sexual assault15.46.17.79.9
    Kidnapping/abduction15.113.65.1na
    Robbery14.011.03.85.1
    Blackmail/extortion9.513.65.50.0

    np = not published

    na = not applicable

    Outcome of investigation

    Data are presented in this publication for outcome of investigation at 30 days after the date of report. However, where police have determined after an investigation that 'no crime' has occurred at 30, 90 or 180 days since the initial report to police, the offence is excluded from the data.

    The Northern Territory is unable to code their outcome of investigation data in line with the requirements of the national outcome code 'no crime'. As a result, Northern Territory data may include victim counts for those situations where police have determined after investigation that 'no crime' has occurred.

    Relationship of offender to victim

    The relationship of offender to victim information is initially recorded as the relationship as perceived by the victim at the time of the offence, with some jurisdictions updating this data item as the investigation progresses.

    Relationship of offender to victim data for Western Australia are not of sufficient quality for national reporting.

    There are some inconsistencies in relationship of offender to victim data across jurisdictions:

    • New South Wales is unable to provide relationship data for robbery offences.
    • Victoria records the relationship of the victim to offender rather than the offender to the victim, and data are subsequently re-coded to meet the requirements of the Recorded Crime – Victims relationship classification.

    There are some inconsistencies in the coding of current and former boyfriends and girlfriends across the jurisdictions, which should be considered when making comparisons. This impacts on data as presented in the publication tables per the following:

    • Tables containing the categories of ‘family member’ and ‘non-family member’:
      • New South Wales data for family member may be overstated and data for non-family member understated as ex-boyfriend and ex-girlfriend are included in 'boyfriend/girlfriend'.
      • Northern Territory data for family member may be understated and data for non-family member overstated as some boyfriends/girlfriends may be included in 'other non-family member n.e.c.'
    • Tables containing the category ‘intimate partner’: Northern Territory data for the category may be understated as some boyfriends/girlfriends may be included in 'other non-family member n.e.c.'

    Family and domestic violence statistics

    This release presents statistics about selected characteristics of victims of family and domestic violence (FDV) -related offences which were reported to, or detected by police between 1 January and 31 December 2019. Additionally, selected statistics are available for the 2014 to 2018 reference periods. Users should be aware that movements in this data between reference periods may be reflective of changes in reporting behaviour or variances in the police detection that have occurred over the reference period.

    Within the context of national Recorded Crime – Victims statistics, a family and domestic violence (FDV) -related offence is defined as “An offence involving at least two persons who were in a specified family or domestic relationship at the time of the offence; or where the offence was determined by a police officer to be family and/or domestic violence related as part of their investigation”.

    For the purposes of this release, a specified family or domestic relationship includes:

    • Partner (spouse, husband, wife, boyfriend, and girlfriend)
    • Ex-partner (Ex-spouse, ex-husband, ex-wife, ex- boyfriend, ex-girlfriend)
    • Parent (including step-parents)
    • Other family member (including, but not limited to, child, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, niece, nephew)
    • Other non-family member (carer, guardian, kinship relationships)

     Selected offences are limited to the following ANZSOC subdivision offences:

    • Murder
    • Attempted murder
    • Manslaughter
    • Assault
    • Sexual assault
    • Kidnapping/abduction

    The FDV-related data presented in this release have been derived using two variables, an FDV flag and relationship of offender to victim (ROV). Where available, these variables are used to quality assure and further refine FDV-related data across the states and territories.

    The FDV flag is one of a number of information sources used by police to determine whether an offence was FDV-related, and procedures for the use of the flag may vary across the jurisdictions as a result of legislative differences.

    Police officers record the FDV flag when they have determined an offence or incident to be FDV-related as defined by the relevant state or territory legislation under which they operate. This differs across the states and territories:

    • The FDV flag is recorded at the incident level in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. This may result in a small number of victims in these jurisdictions being flagged as FDV-related which do not meet the definition of a specified FDV relationship. 
    • The FDV flag is recorded at the victim level in South Australia and Western Australia. This means that the flag is applied separately to each victim record and only selected offences which occurred within an FDV relationship, as specified in state legislation, are flagged.

    For the purposes of improving data quality, known relationship information (ROV) was drawn upon to identify victims who had experienced victimisation within a specified family relationship but were not flagged as FDV-related by police. These victims were re-classified as being FDV-related so that they were included in the FDV-related data presented in this release.

    The ROV information provided for this collection is not detailed enough to separately identify those who experienced victimisation within a ‘carer’ and/or ‘kinship’ relationship as they are grouped with other relationships in the ‘other non-family member’ ROV category. This meant that although they aligned with the definition of a family and domestic relationship, they could not be checked to ensure the FDV-flag had been applied correctly. Consequently, FDV-related data on these victims were only included in the data where flagged as FDV-related by police.

    This release may include data that were flagged by police as FDV-related but may not directly align with the specified relationship categories. For example, this may occur where no relationship information was provided to, or recorded by, police at the time of report.

    Where the appropriate level of detail for ROV was available, offences flagged as FDV-related but which occurred against a stranger were removed from the data.

    ROV data was used in the identification of FDV-related victims for all reference periods except for Western Australia. Although ROV has been provided from 2016 onwards for Western Australia, the data were not of sufficient quality due to there being a high level of unknowns. Therefore, the FDV flag was used for deriving the majority of FDV-related data in this jurisdiction.

    Users should note that the comparability of the FDV flag and ROV data, used to derive these counts, are influenced by variances in availability, legislation, business rules, and differences in the crime recording systems across the states and territories.

    The use of the FDV flag as a measure of victims of FDV-related offences varies across the states and territories as follows:

    • Western Australian FDV data were based on the FDV flag and limited ROV information from 2016 onward. Prior to 2016, data are based solely on the FDV flag as recorded by police, and therefore may exclude victims of selected offences which occurred within a specified family or domestic relationship where these had not been flagged by police. As such, users are advised not to make direct comparisons across years.
    • Tasmanian information about victims of FDV-related offences for 2014 to 2016 were based solely on the ROV data as recorded by police. From 2017, Tasmania Police have provided an FDV flag for the first time, however there was minimal impact on the data as the state specific legislation, under which the police flag is applied, only extends to include intimate partners in Tasmania.

    Revisions

    Statistics produced on the basis of date reported may be affected over time by lags in completing and/or processing some crime reports. 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. In this issue, 2018 data have been revised in Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory to address this lag in reporting.

    Data comparability

    Given the complex nature of policing, many factors ultimately influence the level of recorded crime, which may not necessarily reflect changes in the actual number of criminal incidents:

    • Social, cultural and economic factors may influence the level of criminal offending or the level of reporting to police.
    • Recorded crime statistics are the by-product of an administrative system and are affected by changes within that system.
    • The introduction of new technologies or changes in police business practices and resources are likely to influence levels of recorded crime.
    • Changes to legislation may also have an impact on the level of recorded crime and on the types of offences recorded.

    National statistics, therefore, require a level of uniformity when compiling data from different states and territories. Over time significant differences and 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 offence types. A number of standards, classifications and counting rules have been developed since the inception of this collection to improve national comparability.

    The interpretation and implementation of the recording rule for assault incidents varies from the standard for Victoria and Queensland. The variation is particularly around whether an element of investigation occurs before deciding to record an incident on their crime recording system. Due to this variation assault data are not published for these jurisdictions and subsequently national data is also not available in the Recorded Crime – Victims publication. Tasmanian data are not published for the years prior to 2014, as the data for these years were not confirmed as being comparable with the other jurisdictions.

    State/territory events and specific issues

    The following information highlights events or processes unique to a state/territory that may have an impact on the data for this collection. This may include specific initiatives, recording practices, or changes to legislation or policy supplied by each state/territory.

    New South Wales

    The proportion of victims with an unknown Indigenous status in New South Wales has continued to increase across all offence types over the past several reference periods due to recording at the operational level. Care should be taken when comparing Indigenous status data across reference periods.

    Outcome of investigation data for the offence category of other theft are unavailable for the years 2010–2013 due to coding issues for this data item. Consequently, national data have been suppressed.

    Prior to 2012, NSW age data were based on the age of victim at the date the incident occurred. From 2012 onwards, NSW age data are based on age of victim at the date an offence is reported to police in accordance with all other jurisdictions.

    Counts of kidnapping/abduction may be slightly inflated. 'Deprivation of liberty' (which is out of scope for this collection) is not separately identifiable on the NSW Police recording system; therefore, counts of this offence type are also included in the kidnapping/abduction offence category.

    Victoria

    Additional codes were added to the Victoria Police Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) computer system in July 2015 to support finer disaggregation of relationship type. Prior to this system update, the relationship type of parent and child were grouped together in the same code when recorded in LEAP and were then disaggregated into the separate categories by Victoria Police when the data were provided to ABS. Caution should be used when comparing relationship data within these categories prior to 2015.

    During the 2014 collection cycle, it was discovered that the national counting rules had not been applied correctly to Victorian data in previous reference years, resulting in an overstatement of the number of victims for most offence types. The statistical impact of this error was found to be negligible for most offence types, with the exception of sexual assault and motor vehicle theft. Consequently, data were revised for 2013 and users are advised that published data from 2010–2012 are not directly comparable with data published for 2013 onwards.

    Property taken in association with unlawful entry with intent may not always be identified due to limitations in recording options in the Victoria Police LEAP computer system. Therefore, caution should be used when assessing the sub components of this offence. The total counts for this offence are correct, however further disaggregation results in an undercount for ‘unlawful entry with intent – involving the taking of property' and an over count of ‘unlawful entry with intent – other'.

    For incidents of assault, Victoria differs from other jurisdictions in the interpretation and implementation of the national recording rules. Some element of an investigation will be undertaken before deciding whether to record an incident on their crime recording system. A record of the incident may be taken on other systems however the incident will not be recorded on the police recording system until it is determined that a crime has been committed. As a result of the comparability issues arising from this difference in interpretation and implementation of the national recording rules, a decision has been made not to make available assault data for Victoria.

    Queensland

    In Queensland where an FDV incident occurs which involves an alleged assault the following procedures are generally followed:

    • If there is an existing violence order, a breach of that order will be recorded for the offender but the associated assault may not be recorded.
    • If there is no violence order and the victim does not consent to proceeding with an assault charge, the police create an incident record and may issue a police protection order. The assault offence may not be recorded in the crime recording system.

    As a result of the comparability issues arising from this difference in the interpretation and implementation of the national recording rules, a decision has been made not to make available assault data for Queensland.

    South Australia

    A new crime recording system was implemented by South Australia Police in November 2018. This system change has impacted on the comparability of the data over the time series. Data for outcome of investigation and detailed location categories have not been published for 2019 while these issues are being reviewed by South Australia Police. Users are advised to use caution when comparing published 2019 South Australian data to earlier reference periods.

    South Australia does not record an assault for an unknown victim but may record another offence such as theft (when evidence suggests an assault or another offence has taken place) if they cannot locate a victim or their representative.

    South Australia Police record a single victim in instances where multiple vehicles belonging to the same owner are stolen in a single incident. Victims of motor vehicle theft may therefore be understated. However, impact to victim counts is considered minimal.

    The legal age of consent to sex for South Australia and Tasmania is 17 years of age. The legal age of consent in all other states and territories is 16 years.

    Western Australia

    There was an undercount of victims of sexual assault in Western Australia prior to 2017. A review of coding identified offences which should be coded to 031 aggravated sexual assault were coded to 032 non-assaultive sexual offences (which is out of scope for the Recorded Crime - Victims collection). These offences have been correctly coded for the revised 2017 data as well as the new 2018 data. This should be considered when comparing the 2017 data onwards to the earlier reference periods.

    Data users are advised to exercise caution when comparing other theft data by location from 2017 onwards and earlier reference periods. Improved coding by Western Australia Police resulted in two changes in the data from the 2017 reference period onwards:

    • An increase in the number of other theft victims coded to ‘outbuilding/residential land’. These victims had previously been coded to ‘dwelling – private’ or ‘dwelling – non-private’.
    • An increase in the number of other theft victims coded to ‘service station’. These victims had previously been coded to ‘retail n.e.c’. This location grouping detail was not published as its own category but was included in the ‘retail’ category.

    These coding changes affect both the Western Australia and National other theft data by location. Users are advised to refer to the broader location groupings of ‘residential’ and ‘retail’ if comparing data prior to 2017.

    Tasmania

    The legal age of consent to sex for South Australia and Tasmania is 17 years of age. The legal age of consent in all other states and territories is 16 years.

    Northern Territory

    The Northern Territory case management system does not include a 'no crime' outcome of investigation code. As a result, Northern Territory data may include victim counts for those situations where police have determined after investigation that 'no crime' has occurred. This differs to all other states and territories where 'no crime' data have been excluded from the victim counts.

    How the data is released

    Confidentiality

    The Census and Statistics Act 1905 provides the authority for the ABS to collect statistical information, and requires that statistical output shall not be published or disseminated in a manner that is likely to enable the identification of a particular person or organisation. This requirement means that the ABS must ensure that any statistical information about individuals cannot be derived from published data.

    To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used to randomly adjust cell values and summary variables. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics for the majority of this publication.

    After perturbation, a given published cell value will be consistent across all tables. However, the sum of components of a total will not necessarily give the same result as the published total in a particular table. As such, proportions may add to more or less than 100%. Readers are advised to use the published totals rather than deriving totals based on the component cells.

     Cells with relatively small values may be proportionally more affected by perturbation than large values. Users are advised against conducting analyses and drawing conclusions based on small values.

    Perturbation has been applied to the data presented in this publication. Previously, a different technique was used to confidentialise these data and therefore there may be small differences between historical data presented in this publication and those published in previous issues of this publication.

    Victimisation rates

    Victimisation rates are expressed as victims per 100,000 of the ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP). They are calculated using the ERP as at the midpoint of the reference period (i.e. 30 June). These rates generally accord with international and state and territory practice.

    The rates presented in this issue are calculated using ERP data based on the 2016 Census of Population and Housing. For population estimates and information on the methodology used to produce ERP, see Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0). For Recorded Crime – Victims data, all estimates and projections for the Australian Capital Territory exclude Jervis Bay Territory. All estimates and projections for Australia exclude the external territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

    Victimisation rates vary across sex and age categories. This publication presents age and sex specific victimisation rates, which are calculated using estimates of the age and sex breakdowns of the population.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander victimisation rates

    Victimisation rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons are calculated using an estimated population for the years 2010 to 2016, as well as the Series B projections of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, from the ABS publication Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 to 2031 (cat. no. 3238.0).

    Rates for the non-Indigenous population are calculated using the ERP for the total population of the state or territory minus the projected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population for the relevant jurisdiction.

    Care should be exercised in interpreting rates based on small numbers of victims.

    Classifications

    Selected offences

    The offence categories used within this publication are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC), (third edition) (cat. no. 1234.0). ANZSOC provides a uniform national framework for classifying offences across Australia and New Zealand for statistical purposes. The classification is a hierarchical structure allowing for varying degrees of detail to be published depending on the level of detail in the source information.

    Download
    Mapping of Recorded Crime offences to ANZSOC
    National Offence CategoryANZSOC CodeANZSOC Offence
    Homicide and related offences0111Murder
    0121Attempted murder
    0131Manslaughter
    Assault0210Assault
    0211Serious assault resulting in injury
    0212Serious assault not resulting in injury
    0213Common assault
    Sexual assault0310Sexual assault
    0311Aggravated sexual assault
    0312Non-aggravated sexual assault
    Kidnapping/abduction0511Abduction and kidnapping
    Robbery0610Robbery
    0611Aggravated robbery
    0612Non-aggravated robbery
    Blackmail/extortion0621Blackmail and extortion
    Unlawful entry with intent0711Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter
    Motor vehicle theft0811Theft of a motor vehicle
    0812Illegal use of a motor vehicle
    Other theft0814Theft of motor vehicle parts or contents
    0821Theft from a person (excluding by force)
    0823Theft from retail premises
    0829Theft (except motor vehicles), n.e.c.
    0841Illegal use of property (except motor vehicles)
    Download
    Location
    CodeLocation
    100Residential location, not further defined
    110Dwelling, not further defined
    111Dwelling - private
    112Dwelling - non-private
    120Outbuilding/residential land
    200Community location, not further defined
    210Educational
    220Health
    230Religious
    240Transport, not further defined
    241Terminal
    242Conveyance in transport
    243Carpark
    249Transport, not elsewhere classified
    250Justice
    260Open space
    270Street/footpath
    299Other community location, not elsewhere classified
    300Other location, not further defined
    310Administrative/professional
    320Banking
    330Retail, not further defined
    331Chemist/pharmacy
    332Service station
    339Retail, not elsewhere classified
    340Wholesale
    350Warehousing/storage
    360Manufacturing
    370Agricultural
    380Recreational
    399Other location, not elsewhere classified
    400Not specified
    Download
    Weapon use
    CodeWeapon use
    1000Weapon used, not further defined
    1100Firearm, not further defined
    1110Handgun
    1120Long-arm, not further defined
    1121Rifle
    1122Shotgun
    1129Long-arm, not elsewhere classified
    1199Firearm, not elsewhere classified
    1200Other weapon, not further defined
    1210Knife
    1220Syringe
    1230Bottle/glass
    1240Bat/bar/club
    1250Chemical
    1299Other weapon, not elsewhere classified
    2000No weapon used
    3000Unknown
    9999Not stated/inadequately described
    Download
    Relationship of offender to victim
    CodeRelationship
    100Known to victim, not further defined
    110Family member, not further defined
    111Partner
    112Parent
    113Child
    114Sibling
    115Boy/girlfriend
    119Other related family member, not elsewhere classified
    120Non-family member, not further defined
    121Ex-partner
    122Ex-boy/girlfriend
    129Other non-family member, not elsewhere classified
    200Stranger
    400No offender identified
    999Not stated/inadequately described
    Download
    Outcome of investigation
    CodeOutcome of investigation
    1Investigation not finalised
    10Investigation not finalised, not further defined
    100Investigation not finalised, not further defined
    11Investigation continuing
    110Investigation continuing, not further defined
    111Investigation continuing
    12Investigation pending
    120Investigation pending, not further defined
    12Investigation pending/suspended
    2Investigation finalised - No offender proceeded against
    20Investigation finalised - No offender proceeded against, not further defined
    200Investigation finalised - No offender proceeded against, not further defined
    21Investigation finalised - No offender proceeded against
    210Investigation finalised - No offender proceeded against, not further defined
    211Unable to proceed
    212Lapsed
    213Finalised as not solved/unsolved
    214Withdrawn by the victim
    215Instruction of the prosecuting authority
    216No crime (a)
    217Informal caution or informal warning
    218Transferred to another state/territory (a)
    219Other investigation finalised - No offender proceeded against
    3Investigation finalised - Offender proceeded against
    30Investigation finalised - Offender proceeded against
    300Investigation finalised - Offender proceeded against
    31Court action
    310Court action, not further defined
    311Charge
    319Other court proceedings
    32Non-court action
    320Non-court action, not further defined
    321Conference
    322Formal caution or formal warning
    323Counselling (includes drug diversion schemes)
    324Penalty notices
    325Other non-court action
    4Miscellaneous finalisations
    41Miscellaneous finalisations
    410Additional offences
    411Duplicate record (a)
    412Offence has been superseded (a)
    8Outcome unknown/not available
    88Outcome unknown/not available
    888Outcome unknown/not available

    (a) Out of scope of the Recorded Crime - Victims collection

    Glossary

    The definitions used in Recorded Crime – Victims collection are not necessarily the same as those used for concepts or data items in other collections; care should be taken when comparing data from different sources to ensure they are similarly defined.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

    An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and is accepted as such by the community in which he or she lives. In statistical and most administrative collections, it is not feasible to collect information on the community acceptance component of the definition. Therefore, the community acceptance criterion is not included in the operational definition.

    Administrative/Professional location

    A location where the main activity is the provision of clerical, administrative or professional service(s) including:

    • office blocks or single offices
    • incorporating government departments
    • private organisations
    • sole proprietors

    This definition may encompass any surrounding land/yard/car parking area, together with any other structures existing at the location.

    Age at incident

    The age of the victim (in years) as at the start date of the incident.

    Age (at report)

    The age of the victim (in years) at the time they become known to the police or at the time of report.

    Armed robbery

    Instances of robbery where a weapon was used in the commission of the offence.

    Assault

    The direct (and immediate/confrontational) infliction of force, injury, or violence upon a person or persons, or the direct (and immediate/confrontational) threat of force, injury or violence where there is an apprehension that the threat could be enacted.

    Attempted murder

    The attempted unlawful killing of another person, where there is either the intent to kill or to cause grievous bodily harm with the knowledge that it was probable that death or grievous bodily harm would occur (reckless indifference to life), not resulting in death.

    Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC)

    The ANZSOC is a hierarchical classification system developed by the ABS for use in the collection and publication of crime and justice statistics. It provides a classificatory framework for the comparison of statistics on offences across Australia. For more information see Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (third edition) (cat. no. 1234.0).

    Bat/bar/club

    Includes items such as a cricket bat, baseball bat, other bat, crowbar, iron bar, jemmy bar, club, baton, stick, or length of timber used in the commission of an offence.

    Blackmail/extortion

    The unlawful demanding with intent to gain money, property or any other benefit from, or with intent to cause detriment to, another person, accompanied by the use of coercive measures, to be carried out at some point in the future if the demand is not met. This may also include the use and/or threatened use of face-to-face force or violence, provided there is a threat of continued violence if the demand is not met. Coercive measures include, but are not limited to: the threat of force or violence; the misuse of authority; criminal prosecution; the destruction of a person's reputation or social standing; or the destruction of a person's property.

    Bottle/glass

    A bottle or glass either broken or unbroken that has been used in the commission of an offence.

    Chemical

    Any noxious or irritant liquid, powder, gas, or spray that is used to immobilise, incapacitate or injure another person either temporarily or permanently that has been used in the commission of an offence.

    Community location

    Any location where the primary activity is the provision of services/facilities for public use including:

    • schools and other educational facilities
    • hospitals and other health facilities
    • churches and other religious establishments
    • car parks, buses, trains, terminals and other transport facilities
    • police stations, court houses, and other justice facilities
    • streets and footpaths
    • open spaces not reserved for specific functions or attached to some other facility

    Dwelling

    A room or suite of rooms, both private and non-private, which may or may not be self-contained. A dwelling can be a house, flat, tent, or residential quarters attached to shops or offices, and also includes motels, hostels, nursing homes, etc.

    Educational location

    A location where the main activity is the provision of educational service(s) including;

    • academies
    • colleges (excluding residential colleges)
    • education or training centres
    • kindergarten/preschool
    • playground of educational institution
    • schools
    • universities

    This definition may encompass any surrounding land/yard/car parking area, together with any other structures existing at the location.

    Ex-partner

    Where the victim and the offender were no longer in a partner relationship at the time of the offence. This includes where the relationship has ended through separation or divorce or where the offender was the ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend of the victim.

    Family and domestic violence (FDV) related offence

    Within the context of national Recorded Crime – Victims statistics, a family and domestic violence (FDV) -related offence is defined as “An offence involving at least two persons who were in a specified family or domestic relationship at the time of the offence; or where the offence was determined by a police officer to be to be family and/or domestic violence related as part of their investigation”.

    For the purposes of this release, a specified family or domestic relationship includes:

    • Partner (spouse, husband, wife, boyfriend, and girlfriend)
    • Ex-partner (Ex-spouse, ex-husband, ex-wife, ex- boyfriend, ex-girlfriend)
    • Parent (including step- parents)
    • Other family member (including, but not limited to, child, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, niece, nephew)
    • Other non-family member (carer, guardian, kinship relationships)

    Selected offences are limited to the following ANZSOC sub-division offences:

    • Murder
    • Attempted murder
    • Manslaughter
    • Assault
    • Sexual assault
    • Kidnapping/abduction

    Family member

    This is where the offender is a family member of the victim. The group includes partners, parents, children, siblings, boyfriends/girlfriends and other related family members.

    Firearm

    A device designed or adapted to discharge shots, bullets, or other projectiles by means of an explosive charge or a compressed gas. This includes but is not limited to:

    • pistol
    • revolver
    • rifle
    • automatic/semi-automatic rifle
    • shotgun
    • military firearm
    • air gun
    • nail gun
    • cannon
    • imitation firearm
    • implied firearm

    Firearm excludes bow and arrow, cross bow, spear gun, and blowgun.

    Homicide and related offences

    The unlawful killing or the attempted unlawful killing of another person including the ANZSOC groups of:

    • Murder (0111)
    • Attempted murder (0121)
    • Manslaughter (0131)

    For Recorded Crime – Victims output, this excludes conspiracy to murder offences and driving causing death (0132).

    Indigenous status

    This data item indicates whether the victim has or has not identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent. Indigenous status is based on self-identification by the individual who comes into contact with police. Where individuals are not able to provide an answer for themselves, jurisdictions may accept a response where a next of kin/guardian provides the information.

    Intimate partner

    The offender is a partner, ex-partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend of the victim.

    Investigation finalised - no offender proceeded against

    Cases where the investigation has been finalised but no offender has been proceeded against, either due to the circumstances of the alleged offenders or because the offence could not be verified. These cases are unlikely to be reopened.

    Investigation finalised - offender proceeded against

    Cases where the investigation has been finalised by the offender(s) being proceeded against, either through court proceedings or non-court proceedings.

    Investigation not finalised

    Cases where the investigation has not been finalised and no offender has been proceeded against at the time of recording the outcome. This includes cases where the investigation is ongoing or pending/suspended.

    Kidnapping/abduction

    The unlawful confinement of a person against that person's will, or against the will of any parent, guardian or other person having lawful custody or care of that person.

    Knife

    Any cutting instrument consisting essentially of a thin blade (usually made of steel and with a sharp edge) attached to a handle which has been used in the commission of an offence. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • ballistic knife
    • sheath knife
    • kitchen knife
    • implied knife

    Knife excludes: butterfly knife, razor, star knife, trench knife, cleaver, machete, scythe, sickle, sword, and axe.

    Known to victim

    This is where the offender is known to the victim at the time of the offence. This includes both family and non-family members.

    Location

    The initial site where an offence occurred, determined on the basis of use or function. Any surrounding land, yard or parking area connected to the building or facility, as well as any other structures existing at the location are assigned to the same category of use. Locations which are multi-functional are categorised according to their primary function, with the exception of a multi-functional location which includes the provision of residential accommodation. Those parts used for residential purposes are classified to 'residential' regardless of the main function of the location. Thus, a residential college within university grounds is coded to 'residential' and not 'educational'.

    Manslaughter

    The unlawful killing of another person while deprived of the power of self-control by provocation, or under circumstances amounting to diminished responsibility or without intent to kill, as a result of a careless, reckless, negligent, unlawful or dangerous act (other than the act of driving).

    Motor vehicle theft

    The taking of another person's motor vehicle illegally and without permission, with the intent of temporarily or permanently depriving the owner/possessor of the use of the motor vehicle. Excludes attempted motor vehicle theft.

    Murder

    The unlawful killing of another person where there is one or more of the following:

    • the intent to kill
    • the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, with the knowledge that it was probable that death or grievous bodily harm would occur (reckless indifference to life)
    • without intent to kill in the course of committing a crime (felony murder)

    No offender identified

    This is used in cases where no information is available about the offender. This may include where police have recorded an offender, however, due to other circumstances (e.g. death of victim) further details were unable to be obtained; or where the victim was knocked unconscious, blindfolded, etc. and was unable to identify the offender.

    Non-family member

    This is where the offender is known to the victim and is not a family member. The group includes ex-partners, ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, and other non-family members.

    Non-Indigenous

    A victim who does not self-identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. See Indigenous status.

    Non-person victim

    A non-person victim can either be an organisation, premise or motor vehicle. See definition for Victim.

    Not applicable

    For the variables of age, sex, Indigenous status and relationship of offender to victim, this is where the victim is not a person (i.e. a victim is an organisation, premises or motor vehicle).

    Not stated/inadequately described

    For the variables of age, sex, Indigenous status and relationship of offender to victim, this is where the information has not been recorded, or the information supplied is insufficient to classify elsewhere.

    Offence

    Any act or omission by a person, persons, organisation, or organisations, for which a penalty could be imposed by the Australian legal system.

    Other family member

    Where the offender is known and related to the victim but is not a partner or parent. This includes child and sibling relationships, as well as step siblings. Also included is other related family members such as grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and other family members related by marriage, for example, in laws and step grandparents. For the presentation of data about victims of family and domestic violence related offences parent relationships are included in other family member.

    Other location

    Any location where the primary function does not fit into either the 'residential' or 'community' categories. This may encompass any surrounding land/yard/car parking area, together with any other structures existing at the location. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • administrative/professional
    • banking
    • retail
    • wholesale
    • manufacturing
    • agricultural
    • recreational

    Other non-family member

    Where the offender is known to the victim and is not a relative, partner or ex-partner. This includes a variety of relationships such as foster parents, teachers, acquaintances, colleagues, friends, etc.

    Other theft

    The unlawful taking of money, goods, or services, without the use of force, threat of force or violence, coercion or deception; with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner or possessor of the money, goods, or services. Includes the ANZSOC groups:

    • theft of motor vehicle parts or contents (0813)
    • theft from a person (excluding by force) (0821)
    • theft from retail premises (0823)
    • theft (except motor vehicles) n.e.c. (0829)
    • illegal use of property (except motor vehicles) (0841)

    Other weapon

    Any other instrument or substance (other than a firearm, knife, syringe, bottle/glass, or bat/bar/club), capable of inflicting damage, injury, or death and used in the commission of a crime. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • chemical
    • sharp instrument
    • blunt instrument
    • hammer
    • axe
    • bow and arrow
    • crossbow
    • spear gun
    • blow gun
    • rope
    • wire
    • explosive
    • liquids
    • vehicle
    • other dangerous article
    • imitation weapons (excluding imitation firearms, knives and syringes)

    Open space

    A location which is public space and is not reserved for specific functions. Including:

    • beaches
    • bushland
    • forests
    • grasslands
    • harbour
    • ocean
    • river
    • scrub
    • sea

    Outbuilding/residential land

    Excluding dwellings, this includes buildings or land which lie within the boundaries of the residential location. Examples include carports, clothes lines, attached and unattached garages, gazebos, etc.

    Outcome of investigation

    The status of a police investigation after a period of 30 days has elapsed since the recording of the incident by police.

    Partner

    Where the victim and the offender are married, in a de facto relationship or where the offender is the victim's boyfriend or girlfriend.

    Recreational location

    Any location where the primary activity is the provision of recreational facilities. This definition may encompass any surrounding land/yard/car/parking area, together with any other structures existing at the location including:

    • cinemas
    • gymnasiums
    • sporting ground/oval
    • dance halls
    • amusement parlours

    Relationship of offender to victim

    The relationship of offender to victim is defined as the relationship of the alleged offender to the victim as perceived by the victim at the time of the offence. For example, if the victim is the child then the relationship of offender to victim would be parent.

    Relationship not known

    For the data item relationship of offender to victim, this is to be used in cases where no information is available about the offender. This may include where police have recorded an offender, however, due to other circumstances (e.g. death of victim) further details were unable to be obtained; or where the victim was knocked unconscious, blindfolded, etc. and was unable to identify the offender.

    Residential location

    Any location containing a permanent or semi-permanent dwelling used for private or commercial residential purposes. This definition may encompass any surrounding land/yard connected to the dwelling, together with any other structures existing at the location.

    Retail location

    A location where the primary activity is the selling of goods or the provision of services to customers for personal/household use. This definition may encompass any surrounding land/yard/car/parking area, together with any other structures existing at the location including:

    • chemists
    • service stations
    • restaurants
    • florists
    • supermarkets

    Robbery

    The unlawful taking of property, with intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property, from the immediate possession, control, custody or care of a person or organisation, accompanied by the use, and/or threatened use, of immediate force or violence. This offence is divided into sub categories of armed robbery and unarmed robbery.

    Sexual assault

    Physical contact, or intent of contact, of a sexual nature directed toward another person where that person does not give consent, gives consent as a result of intimidation or deception, or consent is proscribed (i.e. the person is legally deemed incapable of giving consent because of youth, temporary/permanent (mental) incapacity or there is a familial relationship).

    Stranger

    The victim has seen the offender but does not personally know them.

    Street/footpath

    A location where the main activity is the passage of people including:

    • footpath
    • lane
    • pavement
    • street

    Syringe

    A small device consisting of a tube, narrowed at its outlet, and fitted with either a piston or a rubber bulb for drawing in a quantity of fluid and ejecting it in a stream. Syringes are considered a weapon when used in the commission of a crime.

    Time to report

    The length of time between the start date of an incident and the date it was recorded by police.

    Transport location

    A location where the main activity is the provision of transport services/facilities. This may encompass any surrounding land/yard/car parking area, together with any other structures existing at the location including:

    • terminal (including airports, depots, docks, jetties, wharfs and emergency and train stations)
    • conveyance in transit
    • car parks

    Unarmed robbery

    Instances of robbery where there was no weapon used or implied in the commission of the offence, or where weapon use was unknown or not stated.

    Unlawful entry with intent (UEWI)

    The unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit an offence, where the entry is either forced or unforced. Excludes shop-stealing and stealing from a house or premise into which the offender has been invited or has legitimate access, whereby the intent was unlawful but the entry was not. Also excludes trespass whereby entry is unlawful but there is no intent to commit an offence. A structure is defined as a building that is contained by walls and can be secured in some form. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • dwelling (e.g. house, flat, caravan)
    • office
    • bank
    • shop
    • factory
    • school
    • church

    UEWI - Involving the taking of property

    The unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit a criminal act, resulting in the taking of property from the structure.

    UEWI – Other

    The unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit a criminal act, but not resulting in the taking of property from the structure.

    Unspecified

    For the variables of weapon and location, this is to be used in cases where no further information known about the offence regarding the use of a weapon or location.

    Victim

    The definition of victim varies according to the offence category, and can either be a person, premises, organisation, or motor vehicle.

    • For murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, assault, sexual assault and kidnapping/abduction, the victim is an individual person.
    • For robbery, the victim may be either an individual person or an organisation. Where the robbery involves an organisation or business, the element of property ownership is the key to determining the number and type of robbery victims. If the robbery only involves property belonging to an organisation, then one victim (i.e. the organisation) is counted regardless of the number of employees from which the property is taken. However, if robbery of an organisation also involves personal property in an employee's custody, then both the organisation and employee(s) are counted as victims.
    • For blackmail/extortion, the victim may be either an individual person or an organisation.
    • For unlawful entry with intent, the victim is the place/premise which is defined as a single connected property that is owned, rented or occupied by the same person or group of people.
    • For motor vehicle theft, the victim is the motor vehicle.
    • For other theft, the victim is either an individual person or an organisation.

    Victimisation rate

    The number of victims per 100,000 of the Estimated Resident Population.

    Weapon

    A weapon is defined as any object that can be used to cause injury or fear of injury in the commission of a crime. It also includes imitation weapons and implied weapons (e.g. where a weapon is not seen by the victim but the offender claims to possess one). Parts of the body such as fists and feet are not included as a weapon.

    Weapon used n.f.d.

    A weapon was used, sighted or implied during the commission of the offence but the nature of the weapon is unknown or cannot be identified (not further defined).

    Abbreviations

    Download
    ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
    ACTAustralian Capital Territory
    AFPAustralian Federal Police
    ANZSOCAustralian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification
    cat. no.Catalogue number
    ERPEstimated Resident Population
    FDVFamily and Domestic Violence
    LEAPLaw Enforcement Assistance Program
    nanot applicable
    n.e.c.not elsewhere classified
    n.f.d.not further defined
    NCRSNational Crime Recording Standard
    NCSUNational Crime Statistics Unit
    no.number
    npnot published
    NSWNew South Wales
    NTNorthern Territory
    QldQueensland
    ROVRelationship of offender to victim
    SASouth Australia
    Tas.Tasmania
    UEWIUnlawful entry with intent
    Vic.Victoria
    WAWestern Australia

    Extended time series

    Additional data for key offence types over the 27 years of available data, from 1993 to 2019 was added on 16/09/2020. National, state and territory data was provided in a data cube as well as a short article. The information included in this section was also added to explain the additional data. 

    Recorded Crime – Victims data was first published in 1993 and has since been released annually.  Data for the years 1993 to 2009 have, until this point, only been accessible separately through the earlier publications.

    A number of factors influence the comparability of the data over time and need to be considered when looking at the trends in recorded crime. These can include changes in:

    • standards, classifications or counting rules developed nationally
    • new technologies or police business practices and resources
    • legislation

    For the 2010 publication, changes to the basis of the collection were officially implemented and an expected break in series was noted. As such, subsequent releases only contained data from 2010 onwards. However, recent analysis indicates that there was not a large impact on the data at that timepoint and instead there were smaller, incremental changes to the data over time.

    Data has now been compiled for all available years to produce a set of tables containing statistics on victims of crime by selected offences as recorded by police from 1993 to 2019 (where available). This data is intended to support analysis of the whole time series available, however, there are a number of changes to the data over time which have been highlighted in these notes. For further information about the Recorded Crime – Victims data refer to the general methodology notes as well as previous issues of this publication for information about specific years.

    In compiling data over such a long time period, some small adjustments were made to the data to ensure, for example, uniform confidentiality methods were applied across the datasets and offence inclusions were the same across the data sets. As such, there may be small differences to data presented in this publication and those published in previous issues. 

    Offence scope changes

    The offence categories are presented in the extended time series data as per the scope of the current publication.

    Some offence data are not available for 1993 and 1994 as a staged approach was used to set up the original data collection. Data was collected from 1995 for:

    • Assault
    • Further detail for unlawful entry with intent with subcategories of ‘property – stolen’ and ‘property – other’
    • Other theft

    Driving causing death has been excluded from homicide and related offences in this publication. This offence was included in previous issues of this publication prior to the 2007 period but was removed as not all jurisdictions were able to provide the data.

    Offence classification changes

    Four classifications have been used to categorise offence data over time:

    • 1993-1998: Australian National Classification of Offences 1985
    • 1999-2008: Australian Standard Offence Classification 1997
    • 2009: Australian Standard Offence Classification (Second edition) 2008
    • 2010-2019: Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification 2011

    Changes to the offence classifications generally had minimal impact on the offence data comparability. Some jurisdictions also used the opportunity of implementing updated coding classifications to review the offence coding rather than just transferring to the new classification, resulting in changes that may have impacted on comparability to earlier data.

    Recording and reporting rule changes

    A set of definitions and counting rules for crimes recorded by police were implemented from the start of the recorded crime data collection.

    A project was undertaken to investigate if there were underlying differences between state and territory data with results released in June 2005. The key findings of the project were:

    • Some jurisdictions almost always recorded a reported criminal incident on their crime recording system, whereas other jurisdictions applied a form of threshold test prior to a record being made. Those threshold tests varied across jurisdictions and were not guided by national standards.
    • Evidence suggested that variation in the decision to record a crime was significant for assault and sexual assault. Variation in the recording of property related offences did not appear to be as significant.
    • Once a crime has been recorded in the system, there was no evidence to suggest that processes within any state or territory had a significant impact on differences in the recorded statistics.

    From this project a National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) was introduced to address the lack of a uniform standard in the initial police recording processes. Given that law enforcement is administered separately by each of the state and territory police agencies in Australia, the date of implementing this standard varied but mainly occurred between 2007 and 2009.

    One of the key changes to the data as a result of the implementation of the NCRS was the removal of data classified as ‘no crime’ from 2009 onwards. The removal of this category did not impact the data for Queensland or the Northern Territory. Queensland data was not impacted as that outcome was not included in prior years. Due to system issues, data for the Northern Territory continues to include this outcome. Analysis of the national data found that the difference between the published change and the actual change was small for most offence types, with nearly all movements in the same direction and of similar magnitude. Differences were more marked for some individual states and territories.

    The first year of data available after the full implementation of the NCRS was 2010. However, the interpretation and implementation of the recording rule for assault incidents varied from the standard for Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. Due to this variation assault data are not published for those jurisdictions for most years and subsequently national data is also not available. This issue was resolved for Tasmania with data available from 2014.

    The recording and reporting rule differences between jurisdictions prior to the introduction of the NCRS, as well as the move to the NCRS and ongoing differences noted, should be considered when analysing the data over the extended time series.

    Data comparability by offence

    The following notes highlight specific information that effects the data by offence type. 

    Assault

    Data for assault was introduced in 1995.

    Data prior to 2010 was not recorded consistently across the states and territories for assault offences. This was partially resolved from 2010 onwards with the implementation of the National Crime Recording Standard.

    The interpretation and implementation of the recording rule for assault incidents continues to vary from the standard for Victoria and Queensland. The variation is particularly around whether an element of investigation occurs before deciding to record an incident on their crime recording system. Due to this variation, assault data are not published for these jurisdictions and subsequently national data is also not available. Tasmanian data are not published for the years 2010 to 2014 due to this variation, but this was resolved for 2015 onwards.

    Assault data for the Australian Capital Territory for 1995 was not suitable for publication so the time series commenced in 1996.

    Sexual assault

    Data prior to 2010 was not recorded consistently across the states and territories for sexual assault offences. This was resolved from 2010 onwards with the implementation of the National Crime Recording Standard.

    Kidnapping/abduction

    Counts of kidnapping/abduction may be slightly overstated for NSW. 'Deprivation of liberty' (which is out of scope for this collection) is not separately identifiable on the NSW Police recording system; therefore, counts of this offence type are also included in the kidnapping/abduction offence category.

    Unlawful entry with intent

    Further detail for unlawful entry with intent was introduced in 1995 with the added subcategories of ‘property – stolen’ and ‘property – other’.

    Unlawful entry with intent subcategories are not available in 2000 for Queensland and South Australia, subsequently national data is also not available.

    Other theft

    Data for other theft was introduced in 1995.

    Time to report and age at incident

    Additional data was added on 29/04/2021 for two new variables: time to report and age at incident. National, state and territory data was provided in data cubes as well as a short article. The information included in this section was also added to explain the additional data.

    The annual Recorded Crime – Victims publication presents national statistics about victims of crime for selected offences recorded by state and territory police agencies during a calendar year. The statistics are based on the date the offence was reported to or detected by police. This may not reflect the date the incident occurred, nor the age the victim was at the time of the incident.

    Two additional variables for the Recorded Crime – Victims collection were derived to address this data gap:

    • time to report which measures the time between the date the incident occurred and the date the incident was recorded by police
    • age at incident which measures the age of the victim at the date of incident

    This is the first time that data for these two variables have been published. These data are now available from 2014 onwards.

    Time to report

    The time to report data item measures the length of time between the start date of an incident and the date it was recorded by police. The offences recorded may have been reported by a victim, witness or other person, or they may have been detected by police.  As an example, if an incident occurred on 20 May 2010 but was reported to police in 2019 then this would be recorded in the 2019 reference period with a time to report of 9 years.

    Age at incident

    The age at incident data item presents the age of the victim as at the start date of the incident. This differs from the age data presented in other parts of the publication, which refers to the age of the victim when the incident was recorded by police. For example, if an incident occurred when the victim was 14 years old and the offence was recorded by police when they were 18, then the age at incident would be 14 years and the age at report would be 18 years.