Australian Institute of Criminology

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13 per cent of homicides occur in the course of other crime

Media Release

26 June 2003

In a paper released today by the Australian Institute of Criminology it was reported that of the 4,108 homicide incidents occurring in Australia between 1989 and 2002, 542 (13 per cent) occurred in the course of another crime. The most common of these 'other crime homicides' occurred during robberies (56 per cent) and sexual assaults (23 per cent).

The paper also found that homicides occurring in the course of other crimes are different from other homicides. Homicides occurring in the course of other crimes were more likely to:

  • occur in a non residential location
  • be unsolved at the time of data collection
  • involve a victim who was older than the offender
  • involve a male offender
  • involve a victim and offender who were non-Indigenous
  • involve a victim and offender who were not known to each other
  • involve either an unemployed victim or offender or both
  • result from an unknown motive or where indicated, the motive was related to drugs and/or money or sexual gratification
  • and involve a weapon other than a knife or other sharp instrument.

"Homicide is a multifaceted crime, and prevention policies must be based on solid data and a clear understanding of the various characteristics of homicide and situations in which homicide might occur", said Dr Adam Graycar, AIC Director. "This analysis will aid policies oriented to prevention", he said.