Australian Institute of Criminology

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Foreword

Australian Crime: Facts & Figures is an up-to-date snapshot of crime patterns and trends in Australia. It contains information on specific crimes, victims, offenders, the location of criminal acts and the operation of criminal justice systems—focusing on the work of police, courts and prisons.

This publication utilises data from both administrative and survey-based collections. In this 2010 edition, a section on cybercrime trialled in previous editions has been reintroduced to provide information relating to computer security. Further, this edition includes new and updated information derived from Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data on federal defendants and crime victimisation. The reporting of monthly trend data from 1995 to the present for some specific crimes has ceased as a result of changes to the quality assurance process of the ABS.

For more specific information on crime and justice issues, the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) disseminates a number of publications—from fact sheets to detailed reports. These publications can be obtained for free from the AIC website at www.aic.gov.au or by contacting the AIC directly.

Highlights

Some of the noteworthy findings contained in the 2010 Australian Crime: Facts & Figures include:

  • Violent crimes occurred most commonly in residential dwellings; while retail and residential locations were almost equally the most common settings for property crime.
  • Juvenile offenders (those aged 10 to 17 years) continue to offend at a higher rate than adults (over 18 years). Juvenile offending was most prevalent in two sub-categories of property crime—‘other’ theft and unlawful entry with intent (UEWI)—although juveniles also committed a high proportion of assaults in 2008–09.
  • Fraud and communications offences were the most commonly heard federal offences in Magistrates’, children’s and higher courts. Specifically, 24,705 fraud cases and 2,874 federal communications cases were adjudicated in Australian courts in 2009.
  • Individuals aged over 45 years and children aged less than 10 years were the least likely age groups to be victims of crime. Most victims were aged between 15 and 25 years; the same age group with the highest offending rates.
  • A total of $11.6b was spent on the criminal justice system in Australia in 2009, which included $1.5b spent on the criminal justice courts (including the Magistrates’ and children’s courts and the higher courts) and $8.1b spent on state, territory and federal police services.

Adam Tomison
Director
Australian Institute of Criminology