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Recorded Crime - Offenders

Statistics about offenders proceeded against by police including age, sex, Indigenous status and most serious offence.

Reference period
2019-20 financial year

Key statistics

In 2019–20:

  • there were 374,645 offenders proceeded against by police in Australia
  • there was a 5% decrease in the number of offenders since 2018–19
  • the number of recorded offenders was the lowest since the time series began in 2008–09

Impact of COVID-19 on data

Australia’s federal, state and territory governments put restrictions in place to slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) from March 2020. The restrictions, and associated penalties for breaching these restrictions, varied across the jurisdictions. This should be considered when interpreting the Recorded Crime – Offenders data for the 2019– 20 reference period.

Offences specifically related to the COVID-19 restrictions were coded to ANZSOC 1629 Public health and safety offences, n.e.c. Data about offenders who were proceeded against by police for at least one of these offences are presented in the COVID-19 related offences section.

Australia

There were 374,645 offenders proceeded against by police across Australia in 2019–20, a 5% decrease (down by 19,993 offenders) since 2018–19.

The offender rate also decreased by 118 offenders to 1,677 offenders per 100,000 persons. This was the lowest offender rate since the time series began in 2008–09.

Principal offence type

The three most common principal offences were:

  • acts intended to cause injury with 78,523 offenders (21%)
  • illicit drug offences with 74,443 offenders (20%)
  • public order offences with 40,975 offenders (11%)

These offences have consistently been the most common three principal offences since 2012–13.

Public order offences decreased by 24% (12,608 offenders) since 2018–19. This was driven by a decline across all jurisdictions, most notably from:

  • Queensland (down 2,958 offenders or 21%)
  • Victoria (down 2,809 offenders or 31%)
  • South Australia (down 2,726 offenders or 34%)

The number of public order offenders have almost halved since 2013–14, down by 47% (36,068 offenders) to 40,975 offenders in 2019–20.

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Miscellaneous offences increased by 22% (3,302 offenders) in 2019–20, largely due to fines being issued for COVID-related offences.

Sex

Three-quarters (75%) of offenders proceeded against by police were male.

The male offender rate was around three times the female offender rate with:

  • 2,559 male offenders per 100,000 males
  • 813 female offenders per 100,000 females

Acts intended to cause injury was the most common principal offence for male offenders (22% or 60,542). Illicit drug offences were the most common principal offence for female offenders (21% or 18,937).

Age

The median age for offenders in Australia remained stable at 30 years.

The offender rate decreased for all age groups since 2018–19, most notably for those aged between:

  • 20 and 24 years, down 348 offenders to 3,265 offenders per 100,000 persons
  • 15 and 19 years, down 301 offenders to 3,774 offenders per 100,000 persons
  • 25 and 29 years, down 199 offenders to 2,802 offenders per 100,000 persons
Download
  1. Rate per 100,000 persons

All age groups under 35 years recorded the lowest offender rate in 2019–20 since the beginning of the time series.

New South Wales

There were 116,924 offenders proceeded against by police in New South Wales in 2019–20, a 4% decrease from the previous year (down 5,077 offenders). The offender rate also decreased by 94 offenders to 1,642 offenders per 100,000 persons.

Principal offence type

More than a quarter (28%) of offenders had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (32,122 offenders), 83% of these were for assault.

Public order offences decreased by 14% since 2018–19, to reach the lowest number in the time series (11,717 offenders).

Sex

More than three-quarters (76%) of offenders in New South Wales were male.

The offender rate by sex was:

  • 2,536 male offenders per 100,000 males
  • 763 female offenders per 100,000 females

Youth offenders

There were 17,710 offenders aged between 10 and 17 years in 2019–20, comprising 15% of total offenders in New South Wales.

More than a third (37% or 6,546) of youth offenders had a principal offence of fare evasion and almost a fifth (19% or 3,321) had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders

There were 13,378 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders in 2019–20, an increase of 5% from the previous year (up 625 offenders).

Half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (6,720 offenders).

Police proceedings

In 2019–20 there were 226,573 police proceedings in New South Wales. Of these:

  • 49% were court actions (111,215 proceedings), up 6% since 2018–19
  • 51% were non-court actions (115,355 proceedings), down 8% since 2018–19

Around a third (32%) of court actions were for acts intended to cause injury. More than half (58%) of non-court actions were for fare evasion.

Victoria

There were 74,189 offenders proceeded against by police in Victoria during 2019–20, a decrease of 2% from the previous year.

The offender rate decreased by 59 offenders to 1,272 offenders per 100,000 persons.

Principal offence type

Just under a quarter (23%) of offenders had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (17,171 offenders), mainly assault (16,441 offenders). This was the most common principal offence for Victorian offenders in 2019–20.

Offenders with a principal offence of:

  • public order offences decreased by 31% to 6,244 offenders
  • miscellaneous offences increased by 24% to 7,630 offenders, largely due to fines being issued for COVID-19 related offences
  • illicit drug offences increased by 6% to 9,898 offenders

Sex

More than three-quarters (78%) of offenders proceeded against were male (57,911 offenders).

The male offender rate was almost four times higher than the female offender rate:

  • 2,014 male offenders per 100,000 males
  • 550 female offenders per 100,000 females

Youth offenders

There were 7,785 offenders aged between 10 and 17 years, comprising 11% of total offenders proceeded against by police in Victoria in 2019–20.

There was little difference in the rate of offending amongst youth when compared with the total Victorian offender population:

  • 1,273 youth offenders per 100,000 persons aged between 10 and 17 years
  • 1,272 total offenders per 100,000 persons

A quarter of all youth offenders had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (1,945 offenders).

Police proceedings

There were 117,047 police proceedings in Victoria in 2019–20, most of these were court actions (72% or 83,942 proceedings).

Queensland

There were 88,452 offenders proceeded against by police in Queensland in 2019–20, a slight decrease (1% or 1,049 offenders) from the previous year.

The offender rate decreased by 60 offenders to 1,975 offenders per 100,000 persons.

Principal offence type

More than a quarter (27%) of offenders had a principal offence that was illicit drug related (23,697 offenders). This was the most common principal offence for Queensland offenders in 2019–20.

Since 2018–19:

  • public order offenders decreased by 21% to the lowest number in the time series (10,967 offenders)
  • robbery/extortion offenders increased by 12% to the highest number in the time series (1,253 offenders)
  • miscellaneous offences increased over ten-fold to 1,661 offenders, largely due to fines being issued for COVID-19 related offences

Sex

Almost three-quarters (73%) of offenders in Queensland were male.

The offender rates by sex were:

  • 2,936 male offenders per 100,000 males
  • 1,046 female offenders per 100,000 females

Youth offenders

There were 11,007 offenders aged between 10 and 17 years in 2019–20, a decline of 6% (or 692 offenders) from the previous year.

The youth offender rate decreased by 180 to 2,080 youth offenders per 100,000 persons, the lowest rate since the beginning of the time series.

One in five youth offenders had a principal offence that was illicit drug related (2,147 offenders).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders

There were 17,459 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders in 2019–20, a slight increase from the previous year (up 123 offenders).

The most common principal offence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders was acts intended to cause injury (20% or 3,558 offenders), followed by illicit drug offences (16% or 2,816 offenders).

Police proceedings

There were 167,510 police proceedings in Queensland in 2019–20. The majority (82%) of proceedings were court actions (137,239 proceedings).

Around a quarter of court (26%) and non-court (25%) proceedings were for an illicit drug related principal offence.

South Australia

There were 36,860 offenders proceeded against by police in South Australia in 2019–20, a decrease of 17% from the previous year.

The offender rate decreased by 529 to 2,371 offenders per 100,000 persons.

Principal offence type

Over a third (35%) of offenders had a principal offence that was illicit drug related (12,868 offenders).

The largest decreases in the number of offenders occurred for the following principal offence types:

  • public order offences, down 34% (2,726 offenders)
  • illicit drug offences, down 17% (2,618 offenders)
  • fare evasion, down 51% (1,784 offenders)

In contrast, offenders with a principal offence of miscellaneous offences increased by 53% (641 offenders), largely due to fines being issued for COVID-19 related offences.

Sex

Three-quarters of offenders proceeded against were male (27,585 offenders).

Males had an offender rate three times higher than females:

  • 3,614 male offenders per 100,000 males
  • 1,157 female offenders per 100,000 females

Youth offenders

Offenders aged between 10 and 17 years accounted for 8% of all offenders proceeded against in South Australia in 2019–20 (2,782 youth offenders).

The rate of offending was lower among youth when compared with the total South Australian offender population:

  • 1,693 youth offenders per 100,000 persons aged between 10 and 17 years
  • 2,371 total offenders per 100,000 persons

One in five youth offenders had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (557 offenders).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders

There were 4,272 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders proceeded against during 2019–20.

Females comprised almost a third (32%) of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders (1,366 offenders).

Almost two in five (38%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (1,642 offenders).

Western Australia

There were 37,597 offenders proceeded against by police in Western Australia in 2019–20. This was a 5% decrease from the previous year.

The offender rate also decreased by 105 offenders to 1,638 offenders per 100,000 persons, the lowest rate since the time series began in 2008–09.

Principal offence type

Over a fifth (22%) of offenders had a principal offence that was illicit drug related (8,363 offenders), most of the offences were for possession and/or use of illicit drugs (61% or 5,103 offenders).

Offenders with a principal offence of robbery/extortion increased by 17% to 762 offenders.

Homicide and related offences decreased by 23% to 91 offenders, driven by a decrease in offenders proceeded against for manslaughter and driving causing death.

Sex

Almost three-quarters (73%) of offenders were male (27,341 offenders).

The offender rates by sex were:

  • 2,397 male offenders per 100,000 males
  • 875 female offenders per 100,000 females

Youth offenders

There were 5,799 offenders aged between 10 and 17 years in 2019–20, a decrease of 3% since the previous year. The youth offender rate decreased to the lowest in the time series to 2,230 per 100,000 persons.

Over a fifth (21%) of all youth offenders had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (1,198 offenders).

Tasmania

There were 8,705 offenders proceeded against by police in Tasmania in 2019–20, an 11% decrease from the previous year (1,075 offenders).

The offender rate decreased by 254 offenders to 1,826 offenders per 100,000 persons.

Principal offence type

The most common principal offences were:

  • acts intended to cause injury with 1,922 offenders (22%)
  • public order offences with 1,634 offenders (19%)

Offenders with a principal offence that was public order related decreased by 35% (862 offenders) to reach the lowest number in the time series.

Sex

Over three-quarters (76%) of offenders proceeded against were male (6,629 offenders).

Males had an offender rate more than three times higher than females with:

  • 2,825 male offenders per 100,000 males
  • 859 female offenders per 100,000 females

A higher proportion of female offenders had a principal offence of theft and related offences compared with males:

  • 16% of female offenders (323 offenders)
  • 6% of male offenders (393 offenders)

Youth offenders

There were 856 offenders aged between 10 and 17 years, comprising 10% of total offenders proceeded against in Tasmania in 2019–20.

The rate of offending was lower among youth when compared with the total Tasmanian offender population:

  • 1,661 youth offenders per 100,000 persons aged between 10 and 17 years
  • 1,826 total offenders per 100,000 persons

Half of all youth offenders had a principal offence of one of the following:

  • acts intended to cause injury 22% (185 offenders)
  • theft and related offences 14% (123 offenders)
  • public order offences 14% (118 offenders)

Police proceedings

There were 14,218 police proceedings in Tasmania in 2019–20. Almost three-quarters (74%) were court actions (10,546 proceedings).

Northern Territory

There were 9,505 offenders proceeded against by the police in the Northern Territory in 2019–20, a decrease of 13% since 2018–19.

Principal offence type

The most common principal offences were:

  • acts intended to cause injury with 2,652 offenders (28%)
  • public order offences with 2,633 offenders (28%)

Public order offences decreased by 31% (or 1,181 offenders) from 2018–19. This decrease accounted for the majority of the overall offender decrease.

Sex

Almost three-quarters (73%) of offenders were male (6,902 offenders).

The male offender rate was more than double the female offender rate:

  • 6,418 male offenders per 100,000 males
  • 2,527 female offenders per 100,000 females

Youth offenders

There were 693 offenders aged between 10 and 17 years, a decrease of 9% from 2018–19.

Acts intended to cause injury was the most common principal offence for youth offenders (29% or 199 offenders).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders

There were 4,779 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders proceeded against by police in 2019–20.

Almost half (49%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (2,343 offenders).

Police proceedings

There were 14,271 police proceedings in the Northern Territory. Almost a third (31%) of police proceedings were for public order offences and over a fifth (22%) were for acts intended to cause injury.

Australian Capital Territory

There were 2,406 offenders proceeded against by police in the Australian Capital Territory in 2019–20. The offender rate was the lowest of all jurisdictions at 648 offenders per 100,000 persons.

Principal offence type

Assault was the most common principal offence (29% or 692 offenders).

Illicit drug offenders decreased by 19% since 2018–19. Despite the decrease, around one in eight (12%) offenders had an illicit drug related principal offence (287 offenders).

Sex

The majority (79%) of offenders in the Australian Capital Territory were male (1,888 offenders).

The offender rates by sex were:

  • 1,036 male offenders per 100,000 males
  • 275 female offenders per 100,000 females

Youth offenders

There were 316 offenders aged between 10 and 17 years in 2019–20. The rate of offending was higher among youth when compared with the total Australian Capital Territory offender population:

  • 807 youth offenders per 100,000 persons aged between 10 and 17 years
  • 648 total offenders per 100,000 persons

Around a quarter (24%) of youth offenders had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (75 offenders).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders

There were 354 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders in 2019–20, an increase of 14% (42 offenders) from the previous year.

Acts intended to cause injury was the most common principal offence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders (36% or 126 offenders).

Police proceedings

There were 3,335 police proceedings in the Australian Capital Territory in 2019–20, an increase of 4% (114 proceedings) since 2018–19. Over three-quarters (78%) were court actions (2,605 proceedings).

Youth offenders

There were 46,949 youth offenders proceeded against by police in 2019–20, at a rate of 1,914 offenders per 100,000 persons aged between 10 and 17 years.

The youth offender rate decreased to the lowest in the time series.

Download
  1.  Rate per 100,000 persons aged 10–17 years

Principal offence type

The three most common principal offences for youth offenders were:

  • acts intended to cause injury with 9,447 offenders (20%)
  • theft with 6,657 offenders (14%)
  • illicit drug offences with 5,121 offenders (11%)

Of the one in five youth offenders with a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury, 96% were for assault.

The number of youth offenders with a principal offence of theft decreased by 11% to 6,657 offenders. This was the lowest number in the time series.

The number of youth offenders with a principal offence of robbery/extortion increased by 17% to 1,780 offenders. This was the highest number in the time series.

The youth offender rate for the principal offence of robbery/extortion also increased to 73 offenders per 100,000 persons aged between 10 and 17 years.

Download
  1. Offenders aged 10–17 years

Sex

The majority (70%) of youth offenders were male (33,068 offenders).

The male youth offender rate was more than twice the female youth offender rate with:

  • 2,626 male youth offenders per 100,000 males aged between 10 and 17 years
  • 1,156 female youth offenders per 100,000 females aged between 10 and 17 years

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders

Statistics on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders are presented for selected states and territories. Based on an ABS assessment, Indigenous status data for other states is not of sufficient quality and/or does not meet ABS standards for national reporting in 2019–20.

Data on offenders proceeded against via penalty notices is excluded as there are a high proportion of unknown values for Indigenous status for this proceeding type. Therefore, offender counts and rates presented in this publication do not include all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders proceeded against by police.

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders proceeded against by police in 2019–20 was:

  • 17,459 in Queensland
  • 13,378 in New South Wales
  • 4,779 in the Northern Territory
  • 4,272 in South Australia
  • 354 in the Australian Capital Territory

The number of offenders increased since the previous year in:

  • the Australian Capital Territory (up 14% or 42 offenders)
  • New South Wales (up 5% or 625 offenders)
  • the Northern Territory (up less than 1% or 36 offenders)
  • Queensland (up less than 1% or 123 offenders)

Acts intended to cause injury was the most common principal offence across the states and territories for which data is available.

Sex

The majority of offenders were male:

  • 79% in the Northern Territory
  • 75% in the Australian Capital Territory
  • 72% in New South Wales
  • 68% in South Australia
  • 67% in Queensland

Age

Around half of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders were aged under 29 years across the states and territories for which data is available:

  • South Australia (46% or 1,951 offenders)
  • Northern Territory (50% or 2,394 offenders)
  • Australian Capital territory (53% or 188 offenders)
  • New South Wales (55% or 7,395 offenders)
  • Queensland (57% or 9,996 offenders)

The median age of offenders ranged from 27 years in Queensland to 31 years in South Australia, consistent with previous reference periods.

Times proceeded against in the last 12 months

The mean number of times Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders were proceeded against by police remained consistent with 2018–19 at:

  • 2.6 times in New South Wales
  • 2.5 times in Queensland
  • 2.2 times in South Australia
  • 1.8 times in the Northern Territory
  • 1.8 times in the Australian Capital Territory

Police proceedings

Due to quality and/or comparability issues, data is not presented for:

  • police proceedings in Western Australia
  • method of proceeding in South Australia and the Northern Territory

The total number of police proceedings recorded in 2019–20 were:

  • 226,573 in New South Wales
  • 167,510 in Queensland
  • 117,047 in Victoria
  • 54,933 in South Australia
  • 14,271 in the Northern Territory
  • 14,218 in Tasmania
  • 3,335 in the Australian Capital Territory

The number of police proceedings increased in:

  • the Australian Capital Territory (up 4% or 114 proceedings)
  • Queensland (up 3% or 4,148 proceedings)
  • Victoria (up 2% or 2,532 proceedings)

The most common principal offences proceeded against by police were:

  • acts intended to cause injury in Tasmania (17%), Victoria (18%) and the Australian Capital Territory (24%)
  • illicit drug offences in Queensland (26%) and South Australia (29%)
  • fare evasion in New South Wales (30%)
  • public order offences in the Northern Territory (31%)

Court actions

The majority of police proceedings were court actions across the published states and territories, with the exception of New South Wales. Court actions as a proportion of total proceedings were:

  • 82% in Queensland
  • 78% in the Australian Capital Territory
  • 74% in Tasmania
  • 72% in Victoria
  • 49% in New South Wales

The most common principal offences for court proceedings were:

  • acts intended to cause injury in New South Wales (32%), the Australian Capital Territory (28%), Victoria (25%) and Tasmania (22%)
  • illicit drug offences in Queensland (26%)

Non-court actions

The number of non-court actions decreased across most published states and territories, with the exception of Victoria and Queensland.

The most common principal offences for non-court action proceedings were:

  • fare evasion in New South Wales (58%)
  • public order offences in Tasmania (43%), the Australian Capital Territory (30%) and Queensland (29%)
  • miscellaneous offences in Victoria (30%)

In Victoria, there was a 70% increase in the number of non-court action proceedings with a principal offence categorised to miscellaneous since 2018–19. This was largely due to fines being issued for COVID-19 related offences.

Family and domestic violence statistics

The data presented in this section is experimental, with further assessment required to ensure comparability and quality of the data. Caution should be exercised when using the data and making comparisons across states and territories. Refer to the methodology page for more information.

There were 75,417 offenders proceeded against by police for at least one family and domestic violence (FDV) related offence in 2019–20. This was one in five (20%) offenders recorded nationally.

The offender rate was 338 FDV offenders per 100,000 persons.

Sex

Around four in five FDV offenders were male (81% or 61,341 offenders).

The rate of FDV offending was four and a half times higher for males than for females:

  • 557 male FDV offenders per 100,000 males
  • 124 female FDV offenders per 100,000 females

Age

The median age of FDV offenders was 33 years. This was slightly higher than the median age of all offenders who were proceeded against by police during 2019–20 (30 years).

The most common age for FDV offenders was between:

  • 30 and 34 years (16%) for males (9,843 offenders)
  • 25 and 29 years (16%) for females (2,203 offenders)

Principal offence

The most common principal FDV offences were:

  • assault, comprising more than half (52%) of all FDV offenders (39,276 offenders)
  • breach of violence and/or non-violence orders, comprising over a quarter (27%) of all FDV offenders (20,311 offenders)

New South Wales

There were 27,525 offenders proceeded against for an FDV-related offence in New South Wales, an increase of 5% (1,316 offenders) on the previous year.

During 2019–20:

  • FDV offenders accounted for just under a quarter (24%) of all offenders proceeded against in New South Wales
  • the offender rate was 387 FDV offenders per 100,000 persons

The majority of FDV offenders in New South Wales:

  • had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (78%)
  • were male (79%)
  • were proceeded against once in the year (80%)

The male offender rate was almost four times higher than the female offender rate with:

  • 614 male FDV offenders per 100,000 males
  • 164 female FDV offenders per 100,000 females

There were 35,622 FDV related proceedings in New South Wales, mostly (97%) court actions.

Victoria

There were 16,925 offenders proceeded against for an FDV-related offence in Victoria, an increase of 4% (715 offenders) on the previous year.

During 2019–20:

  • FDV offenders comprised almost a quarter (23%) of all offenders proceeded against in Victoria
  • the offender rate was 290 FDV offenders per 100,000 persons

The majority of FDV offenders in Victoria:

  • had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (57%)
  • were male (83%)
  • were proceeded against once in the year (76%)

The male offender rate was five times higher than the female offender rate with:

  • 489 male FDV offenders per 100,000 males
  • 97 female FDV offenders per 100,000 females

There were 23,141 FDV proceedings in Victoria, mostly (99%) court actions.

Queensland

There were 13,899 offenders proceeded against for an FDV-related offence in Queensland, an increase of 6% (763 offenders) on the previous year.

During 2019–20:

  • FDV offenders accounted for 16% of all offenders proceeded against in Queensland
  • the offender rate was 310 FDV offenders per 100,000 persons

The majority of FDV offenders in Queensland:

  • had a principal offence of breach of violence and non-violence orders (70%)
  • were male (83%)
  • were proceeded against once in the year (73%)

The male offender rate was almost five times higher than the female offender rate with:

  • 522 male FDV offenders per 100,000 males
  • 106 female FDV offenders per 100,000 females

There were 19,806 FDV proceedings in Queensland, mostly (96%) court actions.

South Australia

There were 4,963 offenders proceeded against for an FDV-related offence in South Australia, accounting for 14% of all offenders.

The offender rate was 319 FDV offenders per 100,000 persons.

The majority of FDV offenders in South Australia:

  • had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (73%)
  • were male (85%)
  • were proceeded against once in the year (77%)

The male offender rate was almost six times higher than the female offender rate with:

  • 551 male FDV offenders per 100,000 males
  • 95 female FDV offenders per 100,000 females

There were 6,795 FDV proceedings in South Australia during 2019–20.

Western Australia

There were 7,588 offenders proceeded against for an FDV-related offence in Western Australia, a decrease of less than one per cent (48 offenders) on the previous year.

During 2019–20:

  • FDV offenders accounted for one in five offenders proceeded against in Western Australia
  • the offender rate was 331 FDV offenders per 100,000 persons

In Western Australia:

  • acts intended to cause injury was the most common principal FDV offence (47%)
  • most FDV offenders were male (83%)

The male offender rate was almost five times higher than the female offender rate with:

  • 551 male FDV offenders per 100,000 males
  • 112 female FDV offenders per 100,000 females

Tasmania

There were 1,337 offenders proceeded against for an FDV-related offence in Tasmania, an increase of one per cent (16 offenders) on the previous year.

During 2019–20:

  • FDV offenders accounted for 15% of all offenders proceeded against in Tasmania
  • the offender rate was 280 FDV offenders per 100,000 persons

The majority of FDV offenders in Tasmania:

  • had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (66%)
  • were male (81%)
  • were proceeded against once in the year (71%)

The male offender rate was over four times higher than the female offender rate with:

  • 459 male FDV offenders per 100,000 males
  • 108 female FDV offenders per 100,000 females

There were 1,963 FDV court action proceedings in Tasmania.

Northern Territory

There were 2,605 offenders proceeded against for an FDV-related offence in the Northern Territory, a decrease of 3% (67 offenders) on the previous year.

During 2019–20:

  • FDV offenders accounted for 27% of all offenders proceeded against in the Northern Territory
  • the offender rate was 1,244 FDV offenders per 100,000 persons

The majority of FDV offenders in the Northern Territory:

  • had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (74%)
  • were male (83%)
  • were proceeded against once in the year (78%)

The male offender rate was over four and a half times higher than the female offender rate with:

  • 2,006 male FDV offenders per 100,000 males
  • 440 female FDV offenders per 100,000 females

There were 3,450 FDV proceedings in the Northern Territory.

Australian Capital Territory

There were 584 offenders proceeded against for an FDV-related offence in the Australian Capital Territory, an increase of 5% (30 offenders) on the previous year.

During 2019–20:

  • FDV offenders accounted for almost a quarter (24%) of all offenders proceeded against in the Australian Capital Territory
  • the offender rate was 157 FDV offenders per 100,000 persons

The majority of FDV offenders in the Australian Capital Territory:

  • had a principal offence of acts intended to cause injury (61%)
  • were male (83%)
  • were proceeded against once in the year (92%)

The male offender rate was almost five times higher than the female offender rate with:

  • 266 male FDV offenders per 100,000 males
  • 55 female FDV offenders per 100,000 females

There were 640 FDV proceedings in the Australian Capital Territory, mostly court actions (97%).

Offenders of FDV-related breach of violence and non-violence orders

There were 37,623 offenders proceeded against by police for at least one breach of an FDV-related violence or non-violence order in 2019–20. Of these:

  • 85% were male (31,780 FDV offenders)
  • the median age was 34 years

Across the states and territories, the number of offenders proceeded against for at least one breach of an FDV-related violence, or non-violence order was:

  • 9,376 in New South wales
  • 8,837 in Victoria
  • 11,669 in Queensland
  • 1,774 in South Australia
  • 3,685 in Western Australia
  • 741 in Tasmania
  • 1,383 in the Northern Territory
  • 157 in the Australian Capital Territory

COVID-19 related offences

The data presented in this section are based on offenders who were proceeded against by state and territory police for at least one COVID-19 related offence during 2019–20. Caution should be exercised when using the data and making comparisons across states and territories. Refer to the methodology page for more information.

There were 10,045 offenders proceeded against for at least one COVID-19 related offence during 2019–20. More than half of these offenders (54%) were proceeded against in Victoria (5,457 offenders).

Across the remaining states and territories, the number of COVID-19 related offenders was:

  • 1,949 in Queensland
  • 1,373 in New South Wales
  • 719 in South Australia
  • 245 in Tasmania
  • 219 in Western Australia
  • 87 in the Northern Territory

There were no offenders proceeded against for a COVID-19 related offence in the Australian Capital Territory during the reference period.

Sex

Just under three-quarters (73%) of all COVID-19 related offenders nationally were male.

Males accounted for the majority of offenders across all of the selected states and territories, ranging from 58% in the Northern Territory to 77% in New South Wales.

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Age

About two in five offenders with a COVID-19 related offence were aged between 20 and 29 years (4,194 offenders or 42%).

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The median age of COVID-19 related offenders in Australia was 26 years.

Across the states and territories, the median age ranged from 24 years in Queensland to 38 years in the Northern Territory.

Times proceeded against

The majority of COVID-19 offenders were proceeded against by police only once during the reference period across all of the selected states and territories.

COVID-19 related proceedings

Due to quality and/or comparability issues, data is not presented for:

  • police proceedings in Western Australia
  • method of proceeding in South Australia and the Northern Territory

Across the selected states and territories, the number of proceedings for a COVID-19 related offence was:

  • 6,265 in Victoria, mostly via a penalty notice (97%)
  • 2,074 in Queensland, mostly via a penalty notice (94%)
  • 1,552 in New South Wales, mostly via a penalty notice (84%)
  • 728 in South Australia
  • 277 in Tasmania, mostly via a court action (92%)
  • 96 in the Northern Territory

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 4519.0.

Data downloads

Guide to finding data in the Recorded Crime - Offenders publication tables

List of data items by data cube and table. 

Offenders, Australia

National data by principal offence, sex and age. 

Offenders, states and territories

Data by state/territory, principal offence, sex, age and number of times proceeded against. 

Youth offenders

National and state/territory data for offenders aged between 10 and 17 years including principal offence and sex.

Indigenous status, selected states and territories

Data by Indigenous status, principal offence, sex, age and number of times proceeded against for NSW, Qld, SA, NT & ACT. 

Police proceedings, selected states and territories

Data by principal offence (all states/territories except WA) and method of proceeding data for NSW, Vic., QLD, Tas. and ACT.

Family and domestic violence, experimental data

National and state/territory data by principal offence, sex, age, times proceeded against, Indigenous status and method of proceeding. 

Offenders of COVID-19 related offences

National and state/territory data by sex, age, times proceeded against and method of proceeding.

Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2019-20

All Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2019-20 data download files.