Australian Institute of Criminology

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Annual homicide figures released

Media Release

26 March 2002

The Australian Institute of Criminology today released its 2000-2001 National Homicide Monitoring Program annual report.

In releasing the report, Dr Adam Graycar, AIC Director, said "Many of the characteristics associated with the incident, victim and offender appear to have remained stable over the 12 year period. However, there have been a number of notable changes in some of these characteristics for the 2000-2001 fiscal year".

These include:

  • In 2000-2001, there were a total of 308 homicide incidents perpetrated by 333 alleged offenders, which resulted in the deaths of 317 victims. The Australian Capital Territory was the only jurisdiction that did not record any homicides during this period;
  • Just over half of the homicide incidents occurred in a residential premise (57%), with just over one quarter occurring in a street or open area (28%);
  • There have been no mass-murders committed with a firearm since 1995-96. Prior to this Australia recorded at least one firearm mass-murder per year (with the exception of 1989-90 and 1993-94);
  • In 2000-2001, a higher proportion of homicide incidents occurred during the course of another crime, such as a robbery (17%), compared to 1999-2000 with 12 per cent of incidents;
  • Compared to previous years, a knife or some other sharp instrument was consistently the most common type of weapon used to commit homicide (30%). The next most common weapon/method was the use of assaultive force (26%), followed by a firearm (22%);
  • A total of 69 victims were killed by a firearm in 2000-2001. Of the cases where the type of firearm was known (n=64), handguns accounted for half of the firearms used to commit homicide;
  • The mean age of victims appears to be increasing. Between 1989-90 the mean age of male homicide victims was 33 years while the mean age of male homicide victims for 2000-2001 was 37 years.

The full report contains 17 pages of graphs plus an explanation of the data and patterns.