Australian Institute of Criminology

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Trends in recorded robbery

Crime facts info no. 126

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, July 2006

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' annual publication Recorded crime, victims, Australia presents national crime statistics on victims of selected offences recorded by police. The figure below shows the trends in victims of armed and unarmed robbery between 1993 and 2005. Robbery is defined as the unlawful taking of property from the immediate possession of a person or organisation, accompanied by the use, or threatened use, of force. Armed robbery includes instances where a weapon was used, or its use threatened. Unarmed robbery includes robberies where there was no weapon involved, or where weapon use was unknown or not stated. Trends in rates of both armed and unarmed robbery have followed similar trajectories in the period 1993 to 2005, with an upward trend peaking in 2001, followed by a steep decline. The rate of unarmed robbery per 100,000 persons increased from 42 in 1993 to 79 in 2001, then decreased to 52 by 2005. The rate of armed robbery per 100,000 increased from 30 to 58 between 1993 and 2001, thereafter declining to 31 by 2005. After three years of decline, there was little change in rates of both armed and unarmed robbery between 2004 and 2005. Victimisation surveys including the International Crime Victimisation Survey and ABSNational Crime and Safety Survey point to a similar trend in robbery victimisation, with a decline in recent years following a pronounced peak around the year 2001 (ABS 2006; Johnson 2005).

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS