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Report identifies factors affecting homicide solvability

Crime facts info no. 15

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, January 2002

A report released by the Australian Institute of Criminology, "Solvability Factors of Homicide in Australia: An Exploratory Analysis", has identified some of the main differences between solved and unsolved homicides. Using data collected as part of the National Homicide Monitoring Program, the report indicated that although unsolved homicides account for 12 per cent of all homicides, when compared to solved homicides, unsolved homicides are more likely to occur in the course of another crime, to involve a single victim (as opposed to multiple victims), and to take place in a non-residential setting. The victims of unsolved homicides are more likely to be non- Indigenous, in the labour force, aged 30 years or older, and not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident. Homicides in which the offender uses a firearm have a lower chance of being solved than homicides involving other types of weapons.

Characteristics differentiating solved and unsolved homicides 1989-1990 to 1999-2000

chart

Source

  • Mouzos, J. and Muller, D. 2001, "Solvability Factors of Homicide in Australia: An Exploratory Analysis", Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, no. 216, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.