Australian Institute of Criminology

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Homicides in Australia 2003-04 : cause of death

Crime facts info no. 108

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, October 2005

The Australian Institute of Criminology has collected data on homicides in Australia since 1989. Homicide includes murder, manslaughter and infanticide, but excludes driving-related fatalities unless these occur in the course of a criminal event. Homicide is regarded as the most accurately recorded crime in Australia and is thus a reliable indicator of the most serious violent crime. The latest figures indicate that there were 288 incidents and 305 victims of homicide in Australia during 2003-04. There was a slight decrease in the number of incidents (3%) and victims (6%) compared with 2002-03. The figure below shows that most homicide victims in 2003-04 died from stab wounds, followed closely by being beaten to death with either a blunt instrument or assaultive force (hands and/or feet). Less than one in five victims (17%) died as a result of a shooting. Females were most likely to be victims of strangulation/suffocation or beating (26% each), while males were most likely to be victims of stabbings (38%).

Homicide victims : cause of death 2003-04


NOTE: Other includes drug overdose, drowning/submersion, neglect, smoke inhalation/burns, shaking, and being pushed from a high place


  • Mouzos J 2005. Homicide in Australia : 2003-2004 National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) annual report. Research and public policy series no. 66. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.