Australian Institute of Criminology

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Bank robberies down

Media Release

27 May 2003

Comprehensive analysis of bank robbery statistics from the Australian Institute of Criminology shows that the number and rate of bank robberies has fallen significantly since the 1980s. Using information from the Australian Bankers' Association and data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, AIC analysis shows that the risk of bank robbery has decreased from approximately 91 bank robberies per 1,000 branches in the 1980's to around 26 robberies per 1,000 branches in the year 2000.

"It appears that there is a new type of offender who targets banks compared to the 1980s", said Dr Adam Graycar, AIC Director. "They are planning less, using fewer weapons, and instead relying more on sheer numbers to intimidate bank staff", he said.

The paper also found:

  • around half of the robberies involved the use of weapons whereas in the 1980s around three quarters used weapons
  • today's bank robberies are less successful - 24 per cent fail, compared with 11 per cent in the 1980