Australian Institute of Criminology

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Recorded crime

Crimes known to police

Figure 3 shows the number of criminal incidents recorded by police in 1998 for the following seven categories of major offences:

  • homicide
  • assault
  • sexual assault
  • robbery
  • unlawful entry with intent (UEWI)
  • motor vehicle theft
  • other theft.

Data in Figure 3 include all recorded crimes and hence are not comparable with data in Figure 2.

Figure 3 : Number of crimes recorded by police, 1998

Figure 3

  • Of these selected crime categories, 'other theft' (which includes offences such as pickpocketing, bagsnatching and stock stealing) was the most commonly recorded crime, accounting for 43% of the total.
  • The next most common offence was unlawful entry with intent, accounting for 33%, followed by motor vehicle theft at 10%.
  • Together these property theft offences accounted for 86% of the seven major crimes.
  • Assault was the most commonly recorded violent crime.

Violent crime

'Violent crime' comprises homicide, assault, sexual assault and robbery. Figure 4 displays the trend in the rate of violent offences from 1993 to 1998.

Figure 4 : Violent crimes recorded by police, 1993-98 : rate per 100 000 population

Figure 4

  • The rate of assault has increased 27% from 1995 to 1998, while the rate of robbery has increased 57% over the same period.
  • The rate of both homicide and sexual assault has remained relatively stable over the six years.

Property crime

The trend in the rate of property crime is shown in Figure 5. 'Property crime' comprises unlawful entry with intent, motor vehicle theft and other theft.

  • The rate of both unlawful entry with intent and other theft has been increasing slightly since 1995.
  • The rate of motor vehicle theft has remained relatively stable over the six-year period shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5 : Property crimes recorded by police, 1993-98 : rate per 100 000 population

Figure 5

Location of crime

Table 3 lists the number of offences, by location, in each of the seven selected crime categories. 'Location' refers to the initial site where a criminal incident occurred. The type of location is determined on the basis of the location's function, as follows:

  • residential location (e.g. houses, garages/carports, motels, and hostels);
  • community location (e.g. car parks, transport facilities, street/footpaths, and schools);
  • other location: (e.g. retail premises, recreational facilities, government offices, and warehousing/storage).
Table 3 : Number of crimes recorded by police, by location * where incident occurred, 1998
CrimeLocation of crime
ResidentialCommunityOther
* This table excludes cases where the location was unspecified (n=44 989).
Homicide20310226
Assault52 57850 29727 148
Sexual assault9 6152 9171 409
Robbery1 60611 8019 779
Unlawful entry with intent295 69933 08799 541
Motor vehicle theft24 07781 73719 668
Other theft129 409207 286201 140
Total513 187387 227358 711
  • The highest proportion of offences occurred in a residential location (41%). The crimes most likely to be committed in this location were homicide (60%), sexual assault (66%), assault (40%) and unlawful entry with intent (67%).
  • The next most common place for a crime to occur was in a community location (31%), with robbery (51%) and other theft (39%) being the most prevalent there.

Figures 6 and 7 show the distribution of offences by location for violent crimes and property crimes respectively.

  • Violent offences most commonly occurred in community (39%) and residential (37%) locations.
  • The highest percentage of property offences were committed in residential locations (40%).

Figure 6 : Violent crimes, by location where incident occurred, 1998

Figure 6

Figure 7 : Property crimes, by location where incident occurred, 1998

Figure 7

Source: Reference 2