Australian Institute of Criminology

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Bank robbery in Australia

Crime facts info no. 53

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, July 2003

A recent study by the Australian Institute of Criminology has analysed trends in bank robbery based on information from the Armed Attacks Database compiled by the Australian Bankers' Association, and data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Of the 808 bank robbery incidents between January 1998 and May 2002 in which the number of offenders involved in the hold-up was recorded, more than half (55 per cent) were committed by lone offenders, about 25 per cent by pairs, and around 20 per cent by three or more robbers (that is, gangs). Unarmed lone offenders accounted for the majority of all robberies (28 per cent of all robberies), caused the least number of injuries to victims (one per cent of all victims' injuries), were the type of robber who most often used a note to threaten bank staff (46 per cent of all their robberies), and who failed most in their robbery attempts (33 per cent of their robberies). Unarmed gangs inflicted the most injuries to victims (51 per cent of all victim injuries) and failed the least in their robbery attempts (six per cent of their robberies). Armed robbers used a disguise more often compared to unarmed robbers, with armed pairs employing disguises most often (59 per cent of their robberies).

Characteristics of bank robber types, January 1998 to May 2002

chart

Source

  • Borzycki, M, 2003, "Bank Robbery in Australia", Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, no. 253, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.