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Newsletters - Crime and Justice Statistics - Issue Number 19, Nov 2005

In this issue:
AIC/ABS Conference
NIDP Progress
NCCJS Meetings
Upcoming Publications
NCCJS Contact Points


The second joint Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) and Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) conference "Safety, crime and justice: from data to policy" was conducted in Canberra on the 6-7 June 2005. The conference was opened by the Australian Statistician, Mr Dennis Trewin and Dr Toni Makkai, Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology.

Mr Laurie Glanfield, AM, Director-General NSW Attorney-General's Department provided a keynote address, outlining the challenges to developing sound policy where there is a clear lack of research and statistical information, and the opportunities presented for greater collaboration in the future.

The conference provided a variety of presentations including panel discussions of the links between data and effective policy development for government. A clear message was the importance placed on the roles of topic specialists, policy developers, researchers and statisticians, working together to identify emerging issues, information gaps and future data needs. Panel sessions were complemented by a range of individual presentations and workshops.

Conference papers are now available from the AIC web site <>


The National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics (cat. no. 4520.0) was released on 21 June 2005. The Plan is available from the ABS web site <> or through the National Statistical Service web site <>.

A Steering Committee will facilitate and guide the implementation of the Plan. Some activities under the Plan have already commenced. The first meeting of the Committee will take place late November, 2005. Steering Committee members include the Chairpersons of each of the National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics Advisory Groups, nominees of the Police and Court Practitioner Groups, the Australian Institute of Criminology, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australasian Centre for Policing Research, the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Queensland's Office of Economic and Social Research and the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department and the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision.



The Victorian Office of the ABS hosted visitors from the Indonesian statistical agency, Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS), in May. The visit was part of the technical assistance program being delivered by ABS for statistical capacity building within BPS. The ABS International Relations Unit coordinates programs between AusAID, under the Government Sector Linkages Program (GSLP), and the ABS statistical area identified for the program.

Delegates Mr Wien Kusdiatmono (Head of Political and Security Sub-Directorate), Ms Dewi Sri Takarini (Head Section of Preparation Data for Regional Resilience Statistics) and Mrs Neng Arniati (Statistician) elected to study the measurement and methodologies used in the production of crime statistics and to discuss social vulnerability and community resilience.

The National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics provided delegates with a series of discussions about ABS crime, courts and corrections statistics and the conduct of ABS national crime related surveys and multi topic social surveys.

The Statistical Coordination Branch supported the visit by presenting an information session on State-based work, including community statistics.


A review of Australian National Crime and Safety Surveys commenced in May 2005 in response to a priority information need identified in the National Information Development Plan for Crime and Justice Statistics (cat. no. 4520.0). The first phase of the review is specifically focused on assessing the feasibility of a better survey model. To assist in this process, users’ views have been sought on information requirements from crime and safety surveys and the frequency with which this information is needed.

Proposals for a better survey model will ultimately need to balance the identified demand for information with the practical constraints of providing the information. Once an alternative model is identified, stakeholders will be notified and an example of the model will be distributed to interested users. It is planned that a paper outlining a potential new model or models will be circulated late in 2005.


What publications are now free on the web?
From 1 July, 2005, the range of free content on the ABS web site (previously limited to "Main Features" for most statistical releases) has been expanded to include electronic publications (PDF and HTML based content). This includes all PDF and HTML publications currently available.

ABS Crime and Justice publications are now all free of charge electronically. They can be found listed under sub-section 45 'Crime and Justice' of the 'Publications' section of the AusStats menu. Printed copies of the publications can be ordered from the website, but will incur a charge.

What tables are now free on the web?
Since 1 July, 2005 electronic tables in spreadsheet or data cube format have also been made available free of charge. They can be found listed under sub-section 45 'Crime and Safety' of the 'Data Cubes' section of the AusStats menu.



On 23 June 2005, the ABS released the 2004 issue of Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia 2004 . This publication presents statistics on victims of a selected range of offences that were recorded by state and territory police in Australia during 2004. It includes information on the personal characteristics of victims, levels of victimisation, and characteristics associated with the offence such as location, outcome of investigation, and weapon use.

The selected offence categories with the largest number of victims recorded by Australian police during 2004 were other theft (547,800) and unlawful entry with intent (308,368).

The number of victims recorded by Australian police declined in most offence categories in 2004 when compared to 2003. Robbery decreased by 16% and unlawful entry with intent decreased by 13%. Other offence categories to record a decrease in the number of victims included other theft (12%), motor vehicle theft (11%) and blackmail/extortion (4%). Victims of homicide and related offences decreased by 18% and victims of kidnapping/abduction increased by 10%. However, for both these crimes, small numbers are recorded and they are therefore subject to greater variation from year to year than other offence categories.

VICTIMS(a), Percentage change in number from 2003 to 2004
graph: Victims. percentage changes in number from 2003 to 2004
(a) The definition of a victim varies according to the category of the offence.

In 2004, the victimisation rates for unlawful entry with intent (1,534 per 100,000 population), motor vehicle theft (437 per 100,000 population) and homicide and related offences (4 per 100,000 population) were the lowest since national reporting began in 1993. The victimisation rates for robbery (82 per 100,000 population) and other theft (2,724 per 100,000 population) were the lowest since 1996.

More males than females were victims of robbery (67% of victims were male), blackmail/extortion and murder (66%), attempted murder (73%) and murder (63%). For kidnapping/abduction, more females were victims than males (69% of victims were female).

Persons aged 25 years or older comprised approximately two in three recorded victims of attempted murder, murder and blackmail/extortion. In contrast, this age group comprised only one in four victims of kidnapping/abduction. Kidnapping/abduction had the highest proportion of victims aged 0-14 (31%).


The March quarter 2005 issue of Corrective Services, Australia was released on 23 June 2005. This publication presents time series information on persons in custody and community-based corrections. Details are provided by state/territory on prisoner counts by type of custody, legal status and Indigenous status.

The average number of prisoners in full-time custody on the first day of the three months in the March quarter was 24,078. Of these, the average number of unsentenced prisoners was 5,246 (22%).
graph: Persons in Prison Custody, Proportion unsentenced per month


The following meetings have been held since April 2005:
    • Courts Advisory Group, 10 June 2005
    • Crime Advisory Group, 13 July 2005
    • Courts Board of Management, 28 July 2005
    • Crime Board of Management, 30 August 2005

Forthcoming meetings:
    • Court Practitioners' Group, October 2005
    • Corrections Advisory Group, November 2005
    • Courts Advisory Group, December 2005
    • Police Statisticians' Group, March 2006


December 2005: Corrective Sevices, Australia, September Quarter 2005 (cat. no. 4512.0).

December 2005: Prisoners in Australia, 2005 (cat. no. 4517.0).

January 2006: Criminal Courts, Australia 2004-05 (cat. no. 4513.0).

March 2006: Corrective Sevices, Australia, December Quarter 2005 (cat. no. 4512.0).


For more information about Crime and Justice statistics, look for our newly updated theme page on the ABS website. These pages include information about recent NCCJS events and releases and are a centralised source that links all ABS information on crime and justice related areas in one place. You can access the theme page from the ABS homepage by clicking on the "Themes" heading under the ABS banner, then under the heading "People", by clicking on "Crime and Justice".


Crime and Justice News will no longer be produced in hard-copy format, in line with recent policy changes to ABS dissemination practices, that now make all ABS publications available free of charge on the web. You can subscribe to this newsletter if you are not already on our electronic mailing list by sending an email with your details to The newsletter can also be viewed on the ABS website from the Crime and Justice theme page.



National Information and Referral Service
telephone: 1300 135 070
fax: 1300 135 211


fax: (03) 9615 7372
postal address:
National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics
GPO Box 2796Y
Melbourne VIC 3001

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