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Measuring crime victimisation

Crime facts info no. 70

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, March 2004

Public perception of the levels of crime are based on the various sources of statistics that provide this information. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recently released a paper that compares crime victimisation statistics from a number of sources published in Australia. The prevalence rate of crime victimisation in Australia differs based on the methodology used for data collection. The General Social Survey is an interviewer based survey conducted by the ABS. This survey found that nine per cent of respondents were victims of assault. The same assault prevalence rate (9 per cent) was reported in the 2000 International Crime Victims Survey, which is administered by telephone interview. The Women's Safety Survey, which is also administrated by an interviewer, found the prevalence of assault was 5.9 per cent. The National Crime and Safety Survey (a mail out survey conducted by the ABS) found that 4.7 per cent of its respondents were victims of assault. The lowest prevalence of assault in Australia (0.8 per cent) was reported in Recorded Crime Statistics (based on assault reported to, and recorded by, police). The paper outlines methodological differences between the data sources, and the possible impacts of these differences.

Prevalence rates of assault published by five different sources

chart

Source

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2004. Information paper: measuring crime victimisation, Australia: the impact of different collection methodologies. Catalogue No 4522.0.55.001 ABS Canberra