Australian Institute of Criminology

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Recorded crime

This section presents data on recorded crime as published by the ABS for the period 1993-2000. Recorded crime is based on counts of victims during the period from 1 January to 31 December each year.

Crimes known to police

Tables 2a and 2b show the number of victims recorded by police between 1993 and 2000 for the following seven categories of major offences.

Violent crimes:

  • homicide (murder and manslaughter);
  • assault;
  • sexual assault; and
  • robbery.

Property crimes:

  • unlawful entry with intent (UEWI);
  • motor vehicle theft; and
  • other theft.

It is estimated that these crimes account for about 60% of all crime recorded by police.

Violent crimes recorded by police, 1993-2000*
YearHomicideAssaultSexual assaultRobbery
* Data for 1993-1999 have been revised.

n/a Data for this offence were not available.
1993333n/a 12 18612 765
1994320n/a 12 72213 967
1995356101 71013 09914 564
1996350114 15614 54216 372
1997360124 50014 35321 305
1998332130 90314 33623 801
1999386134 27114 10422 606
2000346141 12415 63023 314
  • Assault was the most commonly recorded violent crime in 2000, accounting for 78% of violent crime victims. Between 1995 and 2000, the number of assaults increased by 39%.
  • The number of robbery offences almost doubled between 1993 and 2000, whereas the number of sexual assaults increased by 28%. The number of homicides has remained stable over this period.
Table 2b : Property crimes recorded by police, 1993-2000*
YearUnlawful entry with intentMotor vehicle theftOther theft
* Data for 1993-1999 have been revised.

n/a Data for these offences were not available.
1993381 783112 472n/a
1994379 505119 469n/a
1995385 162127 094490 518
1996402 079122 914519 762
1997421 569130 138530 881
1998434 376131 587563 482
1999415 735129 552612 559
2000436 865139 094674 813
  • In 2000, 'other theft' (which includes offences such as pickpocketing, bag-snatching and shoplifting) was the most commonly recorded property crime, accounting for 54% of property crime victims. Since 1995, the number of victims of 'other theft' has increased by 38%.
  • Between 1993 and 2000, the number of victims of UEWI and motor vehicle theft increased by 14% and 24% respectively.
  • Property offences accounted for 87% of the seven major crimes in 2000, a trend that has remained stable since 1995.

Figure 13 : Percentage change in crimes recorded by police, 1999 compared to 1998, 2000 compared to 1999

Figure 13
  • There was an increase across all offences in 2000 compared to 1999, except for homicide.
  • This contrasts with 1999 when, compared to 1998, there were declines for the offences of sexual assault, robbery, unlawful entry with intent and motor vehicle theft, but an increase for homicide.
  • Sexual assault and 'other theft' recorded the largest increase between 1999 and 2000, the former by 11% and the latter by 10%.
  • There was a 10% decline in the number of homicides. In 2000 there were 346 homicides compared to 386 in 1999.

Source: References 2 and 4.

Violent crime

Violent crime comprises homicide, assault, sexual assault and robbery.

Figure 14 : Violent crimes recorded by police, rate per 100 000 persons, 1993-2000



Figure 14
  • The rate of assault has increased steadily since 1995.
  • The rate of robbery remained relatively constant between 1993 and 1996 before increasing significantly in 1997 and peaking in 1998. It has remained stable since then.
  • Rates of homicide and sexual assault have remained relatively stable since 1993. The number of homicides has fluctuated, while the number of sexual assaults has increased by an average 4% per year.

Source: References 2 and 4.

Property crime

Property crime comprises unlawful entry with intent, motor vehicle theft and other theft.

Figure 15 : Property crimes recorded by police, rate per 100 000 persons, 1993-2000

Figure 15
  • Since 1995, 'other theft' has increased by 7% each year.
  • The rate of unlawful entry with intent recovered its upward trend in 2000 after having recorded a decline in 1999 relative to 1998.
  • The rate of motor vehicle theft has remained stable since 1993.

Source: References 2 and 4.

Location of crime

The ABS classifies crime locations according to the function of the site where a criminal incident occurred, as follows:

  • residential location (e.g. houses, garages/carports, motels and hostels);
  • community location (e.g. car parks, transport facilities, street/footpaths and schools); and
  • other location (e.g. retail premises, recreational facilities, government offices and warehousing/storage).

Table 3 and Table 4 list the number of offences that occurred within each type of location.

Table 3 : Number of violent crimes by type of location, 2000
LocationHomicideAssaultSexual assaultRobbery
* Includes non-private dwellings, dwellings not further defined, and land and other structures (e.g. driveways) which lie within the curtilage of a residential location.
Residential
Private dwelling15648 9449 0471 214
Other residential*517 825934325
Community
Street/footpath4432 5541 2968 655
Other community4520 0882 0274 177
Other
Retail1112 6444736 189
Recreational1712 6058011 343
Other location102 805272807
Table 4 : Number of property crimes by type of location, 2000
LocationUnlawful entry with intentMotor vehicle theftOther theft
* Includes non-private dwellings, dwellings not further defined, and land and other structures (e.g. driveways) that lie within the curtilage of a residential location.
n/a National data not available.
Residential
Private dwelling241 613n/a57 807
Other residential*41 59625 691104 631
Community
Street/footpath055 142118 881
Other community40 09427 500115 500
Other
Retail52 50418 114161 816
Recreational11 5612 95136 467
Other location40 5953 66739 872

Figure 16 : Violent crimes, type of location, 2000



Figure 16

Figure 17 : Property crimes, type of location, 2000



Figure 17
  • Thirty-nine per cent of violent and property offences occurred in residential locations, primarily private dwellings.
  • The crimes most likely to occur in a private dwelling were sexual assault (61%), homicide (47%), assault (36%) and unlawful entry with intent (56%).
  • Violent crimes occurred more frequently in a community location (39%) compared to property crimes (30%). Twenty-four per cent of violent crimes occurred on a street/footpath compared to 15% of property crimes.
  • Motor vehicle theft (62%), robbery (57%), assault (38%) and other theft (37%) were the offences most likely to be committed in a community location.
  • Other locations (including retail and recreational locations) accounted for 22% of violent crimes and 31% of property crimes.
  • In particular, 11% of violent crimes and 20% of property crimes occurred in retail locations.
  • About one-quarter of robbery offences and other theft offences occurred in a retail location in 2000.

Source: Reference 6.