Australian Institute of Criminology

Skip to content

Chapter 2: Selected crime profiles

Homicide

The definition of homicide used by the ABS is the unlawful killing of another person. Homicide statistics discussed here include the following categories of offences:

  • murder—the wilful killing of a person either intentionally or with reckless indifference to life; and
  • manslaughter—the unlawful killing of a person:
    • without intent to kill, usually as a result of a careless, reckless, or negligent act; or
    • intentionally, but due to extreme provocation; or
    • when in a state of mind that impairs the capacity to understand or control one’s actions.

This reflects categories recorded by police at the time of the homicide and does not necessarily take into account the final outcome of the court case.

Homicide does not include:

  • attempted murder—the attempt to unlawfully kill another person by any means, act or omission; and
  • driving causing death—the unlawful killing of a person without intent to kill, caused through culpable, dangerous or negligent driving.

The data collected by the AIC through the National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) incorporates a range of materials that provide greater detail for each homicide than that collected by the ABS. It should also be noted that the ABS reports by calendar year and the AIC by financial year.

Data on the use of firearms in homicide are derived from victim data collected in the NHMP. Previous editions of Australian crime: Facts & figures used ABS data on causes of death, but coding procedures used since 2004 (related to an increase in the number of open coroner’s cases) have resulted in an undercounting of firearm deaths due to assault; that is, firearm homicide.

According to the ABS, there were 260 homicides in Australia in 2010; that is, 1.2 victims per 100,000 population. In 2010, murder accounted for 229 (88%) of the homicide victims recorded. The remaining 31 victims (12%) were victims of manslaughter.

Source: References 1 and 3

Location of murders

Figure 8: Murder location type, 2010 (%)

Murder location type, 2010 (%)

a: Includes unspecified location

n=213

Note: National data on the location of manslaughter victims (31 victims) cannot be presented here as it was in previous years, due to incompleteness of ABS published data, particularly regarding the breakdown of manslaughter by residential and community locations

  • By far the most common location for murder in 2010 was dwellings (65%), followed by the street/footpath (14%).
  • Conversely, only three percent of murders occurred in each of the following locations—outbuilding/other residential land, retail and ‘other’.

Source: Reference 1

Victims of murders

Figure 9: Murder victimisation rates, by age group and sex, 2010 (per 100,000 population of that age group and sex)

Murder victimisation rates, by age group and sex, 2010 (per 100,000 population of that age group and sex)

  • From the age of 10 years, the rate of murder victimisation was greater for males than for females. This difference was greatest in the 15–24 year age group, where males were victimised at a rate of 1.5 per 100,000 males, compared with 0.7 per 100,000 females.
  • In 2010, there were no female murder victims aged 10–14 years. By comparison, there were only three male murder victims of equivalent age, resulting in a victimisation rate of 0.4 per 100,000 males.
  • Victimisation rates were closest between sexes in the 0–9 years and 65 years and over age groups. Regardless of gender, 0–9 year olds were victimised at a rate of 0.4 per 100,000. For victims aged greater than 65 years, males were victimised at a rate of 0.7 per 100,000, while females were victimised at a rate of 0.6 per 100,000 females.

Source: References 1 and 2

Trend in homicide

Figure 10: Homicide victims, 1993–2010 (n per year)

Homicide victims, 1993–2010 (n per year)

  • The number of offences involving manslaughter has remained at less than 50 per year since 1993—from a low of 28 offences recorded in 2007 compared with 48 offences (the highest number on record), which occurred in 2002.
  • In 2010, 88 percent of homicide victims were victims of murder. The 229 recorded victims represents a 19 percent decrease in the number recorded since 2006 (n=281 murders) and a 33 percent decrease since the highest recorded number of victims in 1999 (n=344).
  • Since 1999, the number of murders has generally decreased by around three percent per year.

Source: Reference 1

The following figures are derived from NHMP. According to the NHMP, 363 homicides were committed in Australia in 2010.

Victim–offender relationship

Figure 11: Homicide victim’s relationship to offender, 2009–10 (%)

Homicide victim’s relationship to offender, 2009–10 (%)

a: Includes acquaintances

b: Includes business associates, employee/employer, colleagues and other relationships. Includes cases where relationship was unknown

n=363. These data reflect information available at the time of reporting

Note: Relationships are counted once for each distinct victim/offender pair

  • In 2009–10, 54 percent of all victims knew their offender either intimately, or as a family member or friend.
  • Thirty-eight percent of females were the victim of a homicide perpetrated by an intimate partner. This was the most common victim/offender relationship for females, followed by other offender (25%) and family relationships (19%).
  • Males were most commonly murdered by friends—accounting for 30 percent of all male homicide victim/offender relationships in 2009–10. This was followed by other relationships (27%) and stranger relationships (22%).

Source: Reference 3

Weapon use

Figure 12: Type of weapon used in homicide, 2009–10 (%)

Type of weapon used in homicide, 2009–10 (%)

a: Includes other types of weapons used in homicide such as ropes, ligatures, vehicles. Also includes cases where the weapon used was unknown

n=280

  • The most common weapon used in homicide in 2009–10 was a knife. Knives were involved in 39 percent of all homicides.
  • Firearms were used in 13 percent of homicides in 2009–10, while blunt instruments were used in eight percent. Only one victim was killed through the use of physical force, accounting for less than one percent of the total number of homicides.
  • In 40 percent of homicides cases, the weapon used was either classed as ‘other’ or was unknown.

Source: Reference 3

Trend in firearm homicides

Figure 13: Victims killed by firearms, 1989–90 to 2009–10 (% homicide victims)

Victims killed by firearms, 1989–90 to 2009–10 (% homicide victims)

  • Over the past two decades, an average of 19 people per year have been killed by offenders using firearms.
  • The number of homicide victims killed by offenders using firearms decreased from 14 percent in 2008–09 to 13 percent of total homicides in 2009–10.
  • The proportion of homicide victims killed by offenders using firearms in 2009–10 represented a decrease of 18 percentage points from the peak of 31 percent in 1995–96 (the year in which the Port Arthur massacre occurred with the death of 35 people, which subsequently led to the introduction of stringent firearms legislation).

Source: Reference 3

Assault

The ABS defines assault as the direct infliction of force, injury or violence upon a person, including attempts or threats. It excludes sexual assault.

In 2010, in Australia, there were 171,083 recorded assaults, constituting 766 victims per 100,000 population.

The data for the following charts on the location of incidents and the age and gender of victims of assaults are presented here as an aggregation of ABS data for all Australian states and territories.

By contrast, the data in Figure 16 on the relationship between victims and offenders for assault are an aggregate of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory data; these data were not available for Western Australia in 2010.

The ABS does not provide national data on victims of assault due to differences in business rules, procedures, systems, policies and recording practices between states and territories. The AIC compiled the national aggregates reported in this section from ABS jurisdictional data.

Source: Reference 1

Location of assault

Figure 14: Assault location type, 2010 (%)

Assault location type, 2010 (%)

a: Outbuilding or other residential land

b: Includes educational, health and religious community locations, as well as community locations not specified

c: Administrative/professional, banking, wholesale, warehousing/storage, manufacturing, agricultural and other locations not specified

n=171,083

  • The two most common locations for assault were residential (45%) and community (35%) settings. Retail locations such as chemists, service stations and supermarkets were the location of 12 percent of assaults in 2010.

Source: Reference 1

Victims of assault

Figure 15: Assault victims, by age group and sex, 2010 (per 100,000 of that age group and sex)

Assault victims, by age group and sex, 2010 (per 100,000 of that age group and sex)

  • The rate of male assault victimisation was greater than the rate of female assault victimisation across all age groups.
  • Assault victimisation was highest for both sexes in the 15–24 year age group. The rate of victimisation for males was 1,760 per 100,000 males while the female victimisation rate was slightly lower at 1,559 per 100,000 females in this age bracket.
  • The decline in victimisation was sharper for females than it was for males. Between the age groups of 25–44 and 45–64 years, the rate of assault victimisation decreased by 65 percent for females, compared with a decline of 55 percent for males. Specifically, the victimisation rate for females aged 25–44 years was 1,073 per 100,000 females compared with 373 per 100,000 females aged 45–64 years.
  • In total, persons (males and females) aged 0–9 years were the victims of assault at a rate of 112 per 100,000. For those aged 65 years and over, the rate of assault victimisation was 110 per 100,000 persons aged 65 years and over.

Source: References 1 and 2

Assault victim-offender relationship

Figure 16: Assault victims, relationship to offender, 2010 (%)

Assault victims, relationship to offender, 2010 (%)

a: Includes known non-family member and known but not further defined, which may include some family members

n=150,171

Note: Excludes Western Australia (data not available)

  • There was little difference in the proportion of victims of assault in 2010 who knew their offender in a capacity other than family and those to whom the offender was a stranger.
  • Twenty-eight percent of assault victims reported being victimised by a family member.

Source: Reference 1

Figure 17: Assault victims relationship to offender, by sex, 2010 (per 100,000)

Assault victims relationship to offender, by sex, 2010 (per 100,000)

Note: Excludes Western Australia (data not available)

  • In 2010, for females, victims were most commonly assaulted by a family member, at a rate of 261 per 100,000 female population. By contrast, females were victimised by strangers at a rate of 99 per 100,000 female population.
  • The opposite pattern was observed for male assault victims. Males were assaulted by a stranger at a rate of 327 per 100,000 male population compared with a rate of 102 per 100,000 male population when the offender was a family member.

Source: Reference 1

Sexual assault

The ABS defines sexual assault as a physical assault of a sexual nature, directed toward another person who:

  • does not give consent, or
  • gives consent as a result of intimidation or fraud; or
  • is legally deemed incapable of giving consent because of youth or incapacity.

Due to differences in definition and recording practices between each jurisdiction, the ABS does not supply national figures for victim and offender relationship. The information presented in Figures 19 and 20 has been aggregated by the AIC from all jurisdictions except Western Australia, whose data was unavailable.

In Australia, in 2010, there were 17,757 recorded sexual assaults, with 79 victims per 100,000 population.

Source: Reference 1

Location of sexual assaults

Figure 18: Location type of sexual assault, 2010 (%)

Location type of sexual assault, 2010 (%)

a: Includes unspecified location

n=17,757

  • The majority (60%) of sexual assaults occurred in private dwellings.
  • By comparison, five percent of sexual assaults occurred in recreational settings, four percent in retail locations and three percent in transport locations.

Source: Reference 1

Victims of sexual assault

Figure 19: Age and gender of sexual assault victims, 2010 (rate per 100,000)

Age and gender of sexual assault victims, 2010 (rate per 100,000)

  • In 2010, females were sexually assaulted at a higher rate than males across all age groups. The rate of female sexual assault victimisation dropped significantly in the older age groups. Specifically, the rate of victimisation for females aged 25–44 years (88 per 100,000 females) was 77 percent lower than for females aged 15–24 years (380 per 100,000 females).
  • Ten to 14 years olds had the highest rate of sexual assault victimisation regardless of sex. Males were victimised at a rate of 112 per 100,000 males, while for females, the rate was 534 per 100,000 females.

Source: References 1 and 2

Sexual assault victim–offender relationship

Figure 20: Sexual assault victims by relationship to offender, 2010 (%)

Sexual assault victims by relationship to offender, 2010 (%)

a: Includes known non-family members and known but not further defined, which may include some family members

n=16,111

Note: Excludes Western Australia

  • In 2010, 43 percent of sexual assault victims knew their offender but were not related to them; 30 percent of victims were sexually assaulted by a family member, while 21 percent had no prior relationship with their offender (ie victim and offenders were strangers).

Source: Reference 1

Figure 21: Sexual assault victims relationship to offender, by age of victim, 2010 (%)

Sexual assault victims relationship to offender, by age of victim, 2010 (%)

a: Includes known non-family members and known but not further defined, which may include some family members

Note: Excludes Western Australia

  • The proportion of victims who were sexually assaulted by a family member declined as the age of the victim increased. In 2010, over half (53%) of victims aged 0–9 were sexually assaulted by a family member, compared with only 33 percent of 10–14 year olds. Victims aged 45 years or over were the least likely to have been sexually assaulted by a family member (19%).
  • Excluding the 0–9 year age group, the most common relationship between sexual assault victim and offender was ‘known other’. This ranged from 50 percent in age groups 10–14 years and 45 years and older to 42 percent in the 25–44 year age group.
  • Only eight percent of children aged 0–9 years reported being victimised by a stranger, compared with 30 percent of victims aged 24–44 years.

Source: Reference 1

Robbery

Robbery is defined by the ABS as the unlawful taking of property, without consent, accompanied by force or threat of force. Robbery victims can be persons or organisations.

Types of robbery

Robbery is divided into two categories:

  • armed robbery—robbery conducted with the use of a weapon. A weapon is any object used to cause fear or injury and includes imitation weapons and implied weapons (eg where a weapon is not seen by the victim but the offender claims to possess one).
  • unarmed robbery—robbery conducted without the use of a weapon.

Of the 14,582 robberies recorded during 2010, 61 percent were unarmed, while 39 percent were committed with some type of weapon.

Source: Reference 1

Location of robberies

Figure 22: Robbery location type, 2010 (%)

Robbery location type, 2010 (%)

a: Includes dwellings and other residential locations

b: Includes unspecified locations

n=14,582

  • In 2010, robberies most commonly took place on the street/footpath (46%), followed by retail locations (23%) and on transport (9%).

Source: Reference 1

Victims of robberies

Figure 23: Robbery victims, by age group and sex, 2010 (per 100,000 population of that age group and sex)

Robbery victims, by age group and sex, 2010 (per 100,000 population of that age group and sex)

  • Males were consistently more likely to be the victim of robbery across all ages. In 2010, male victimisation rates increased dramatically between childhood and late adolescence, with males aged 0–14 years victimised at a rate of 26 per 100,000 males, compared with 322 per 100,000 males for those aged 15–19 years.
  • There was little difference between the victimisation rates for females aged 15–19 years and 20–24 years, with both age groups victimised at a rate of 73 per 100,000 females.
  • Robbery victimisation rates were most similar between the two sexes at the higher end of the age spectrum. Males aged 45 years and over were victimised at a rate of 27 per 100,000 males, while females of an equivalent age were victimised at a rate of 15 per 100,000 females.

Source: References 1 and 2

Armed robbery

Figure 24: Types of weapon used in armed robbery, 2010 (%)

Types of weapon used in armed robbery, 2010 (%)

a: Includes ‘chemical’ weapon and unspecified type of weapon

n=5,651

  • The most common type of weapon used in armed robbery in 2010 was a knife (47%), followed by ‘other’ weapons (22%) and firearms (18%).
  • Collectively, bats/bars/clubs, bottles/glasses and syringes were used in 13 percent of all armed robberies.

Source: Reference 1

Unlawful entry with intent

UEWI is defined by the ABS as the unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit an offence. UEWI offences include burglary, break and enter, and some theft.

In 2010, there were 216,886 recorded victims of UEWI offences, equalling a rate of 971 per 100,000 population.

Location of unlawful entry with intent

Figure 25: Location type of unlawful entry with intent, 2010 (%)

Location type of unlawful entry with intent, 2010 (%)

a: Includes transport, the street and footpath, and other community locations

b: Includes unspecified location

n=216,886

  • The majority of UEWIs (61%) occurred in dwellings.

Source: Reference 1

Motor vehicle theft

MVT involves the taking of a motor vehicle unlawfully or without permission. It excludes damaging, tampering with or interfering with motor vehicles. The theft of motor vehicle parts or contents is included under the offence category of ‘other’ theft. Motor vehicle is defined as cars, motorcycles, campervans, trucks, buses and plant/equipment vehicles.

In 2010, there were 54,736 motor vehicles reported stolen to police, with 341 vehicles stolen per 100,000 registered vehicles. This represents an eight percent decrease from the number of thefts recorded in 2009.

Source: References 1 and 4

Location of motor vehicle theft

Figure 26: Location type of motor vehicle thefts, 2010 (%)

Location type of motor vehicle thefts, 2010 (%)

a: Includes dwellings and other residential locations

b: Includes public car parks

c: Includes unspecified location

n=54,736

  • In 2010, residential and street/footpath were the most common locations for MVT, accounting for 42 and 34 percent of MVTs respectively.

Source: Reference 1

Recovery rates

In this section, information regarding the recovery rates of stolen vehicles is presented, based on data from the National Comprehensive Auto-theft Research System Project.

  • In 2009–10, the national recovery rate for stolen vehicles was 68 percent, with 39,676 stolen vehicles recovered in that period.
  • Forty-nine percent of stolen vehicles were recovered within 24 hours of theft, while 86 percent of stolen vehicles were recovered within a fortnight.

Source: Reference 4

Figure 27: Stolen motor vehicles recovered, 2004–05 to 2009–10 (%)

Stolen motor vehicles recovered, 2004–05 to 2009–10 (%)

  • The proportion of stolen motor vehicles recovered has been declining by an average of two percent per year since 2004–05.
  • In 2009–10, 70 percent of stolen vehicles were recovered.

Source: Reference 5

Theft and recovery by vehicle type

Figure 28: Theft and recovery, by type of vehicle, 2009–10 (per 1,000 registrations of that type)

Theft and recovery, by type of vehicle, 2009–10 (per 1,000 registrations of that type)

a: Forward control passenger vehicle—a passenger vehicle, other than an off-road vehicle that has up to 9 seating positions; colloquially known as a ‘people mover’

  • While more vehicles were stolen than recovered in 2010, this disparity was greatest for motorcycles. Motorcycles were stolen at a rate of 11 per 1,000 registered motorcycles but were only recovered at a rate of four per 1,000 registered motorcycles.
  • By contrast, this disparity was smallest for buses, which were stolen at a rate of two per 1,000 and recovered at a rate of one per 1,000 registered buses.
  • The second most commonly stolen type of vehicle in 2010 was forward control passenger vehicles (FCPV) or ‘people movers’. They were stolen at a rate of nine per 1,000 registered FCPVs and recovered at a rate of seven per 1,000 registered FCPVs.

Source: Reference 5

Other theft

The ABS defines other theft as the taking of another person’s property with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of the property illegally and without permission, but without force, threat of force, use of coercive measures, deceit or having gained unlawful entry to any structure even if the intent was to commit theft.

This offence includes crimes such as pick pocketing, bag snatching, stealing (including shoplifting), theft from a motor vehicle, theft of motor vehicle parts/accessories or petrol, theft of stock/domestic animals and theft of non-motorised vehicles/boats/aircraft/bicycles. It is the largest of all the crime categories included in the national statistics.

There were 461,169 victims of ‘other’ theft in 2010, a rate of 2,064 per 100,000 population.

Source: Reference 1

Location of other theft

Figure 29: Location type of other thefts, 2010 (%)

Location type of other thefts, 2010 (%)

a: Includes unspecified location

n=461,169

  • Contrary to most other crimes, dwellings were the location for only 10 percent of ‘other’ thefts committed in 2010. Retail locations were the most common (33%), followed by outbuildings/other residential land (18%) and street/footpaths (14%).
  • Recreational locations were the setting for only four percent of ‘other’ thefts in 2010.

Source: Reference 1

Fraud and deception-related crime

In this section, data extracted from information published by state and territory police agencies as well as the Australian Payments Clearing Association, is presented. Police agencies’ classifications of fraud and deception-related offences include cheque and credit card fraud, fraudulent trade practices, social security fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, bribery and other deception offences. Precise definitions may vary by state/territory.

Police record fraud offences by financial year. Fraud is believed to be one of the most under-reported offences, with fewer than 50 percent of incidents being reported to police or other authorities (Reference 43).

Table 5: Reported fraud offences, 1995–96 to 2009–10 (rate per 100,000)
1995–96 500
1996–97 547
1997–98 585
1998–99 593
1999–00 586
2000–01 547
2001–02 555
2002–03 485
2003–04 512
2004–05 539
2005–06 491
2006–07 455
2007–08 438
2008–09 432
2009–10 383
  • In 2009–09, the rate of fraud victimisation was 383 per 100,000 population. This represents an 11 percent decrease in the fraud victimisation rate compared to 2008–09. Further since peaking in 1998-99 at 593 per 100,000 population, the rate of fraud victimisation has fallen by 35 percent; equating to a decrease of approximately 3 percent per year.

Source: References 613

The Australian Payments Clearing Association also coordinates and manages payments clearing systems in Australia including cheques, direct debit and credit payments, EFTPOS and ATM, high value and bulk cash.

Figure 30: Fraud by payment type, 2006–10 (per $1,000 transacted)

Fraud by payment type, 2006–10 (per $1,000 transacted)

  • It was reported that fraud on credit and charge cards has increased by 70 percent since 2006, increasing from 36.93 cents per $1,000 transacted in 2006 to 62.81 cents per $1,000 transacted in 2010.
  • The rate of cheque fraud in 2010 remained consistent with the 2009 figure, at 1.25 cents per $1,000 transacted.
  • The prevalence of credit and charge card fraud in the years reviewed was substantially greater than cheque and debit card fraud.

Source: Reference 14

Federal charges

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) publishes annual statistics on summary and indictable offences against Commonwealth law that were dealt with in the preceding year. Federal offences are those with a national or international focus, such as crimes involving the Australian postal or telecommunications services, terrorism, people trafficking and smuggling and crimes committed internationally. Prior years have presented the statistics as charges dealt with against Commonwealth Acts and Regulations, specifically the Criminal Code Act 1995 and the Crimes Act 1914. In 2007–08, the CDPP presented data relating to defendants dealt with in 2007–08, categorised by referring agency.

In 2008–09, the CDPP reviewed the way in which it calculated the number of charges and defendants dealt with. As a result, figures reported in the current edition are not directly comparable to those published in preceding years.

Source: Reference 14

Table 6: Defendants dealt with by CDPP, by most common referring Commonwealth agency, 2009–10
Defendants (n) % of total
Summary offence
Centrelink 4,616 77
Australian Federal Police 338 6
Insolvency and Trustee Service, Australia 281 5
Other Commonwealth agencies 733 12
Total 5,968 100
Indictable offence
Australian Federal Police 361 50
State or territory police 117 16
Centrelink 68 9
Other Commonwealth agencies 178 25
Total 724 100

The majority of defendants charged with a summary offence in 2009–10 were referred by Centrelink (77%), followed by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) (6%) and the Insolvency and Trustee Service, Australia (5%).

  • The most common indictable charges were referred by the AFP (50%) and state or territory police (16%).

Source: Reference 15

Drug arrests

This section provides an overview of drug arrest patterns for offenders from 1996–97 to 2009–10 as collated by the Australian Crime Commission in its Illicit Drug Data Report series. Drug offences usually come to the attention of police, either through specific activity conducted by drug law enforcement or coincidentally through an investigation into another matter, often related to property offences.

Arrest information is provided for the following types of drugs:

  • cannabis;
  • heroin (and other opioids);
  • amphetamines (including methamphetamine and phenethylamines);
  • cocaine; and
  • other drugs (hallucinogens, steroids and drugs not defined elsewhere).

Cannabis arrests include expiation notices, drug infringement notices and simple cannabis offence notices.

Offenders involved in drug arrests are divided into two categories:

  • consumers—persons charged with user offences (eg possessing or administering drugs for own personal use); and
  • providers—persons charged with supply offences (eg importation, trafficking, selling, cultivation, manufacture).

In the case of a person being charged with consumer and provider offences, the provider charge takes precedence and the person is counted only as a provider of that drug. A person charged with multiple drug offences is counted as a consumer or provider of each drug type.

Source: Reference 16

Figure 31: Drug arrests, by type of drug, 1996–97 to 2009–10 (n per year)

Drug arrests, by type of drug, 1996–97 to 2009–10 (n per year)

a: Includes hallucinogens, steroids and other drugs (not defined elsewhere)

  • In 2009–10, cannabis accounted for the highest number of drug-related arrests. There were 57,170 arrests involving cannabis in 2009–10, an increase of three percent from 2008–09, but an overall decrease of 17 percent from the number of arrests recorded in 1996–97.
  • The number of arrests for heroin peaked in 1998–99 with 14,341 arrests. This number fell considerably between 1999–2000 and 2001–02 before declining fairly consistently over the next 10 year period. In 2009–10, 2,767 arrests were made that involved heroin—an 81 percent decrease in arrests over that time.
  • In 1996–97, the number of arrests involving amphetamines was slightly below that of arrests involving ‘other’ drugs. Since then, however, arrests involving amphetamines have generally increased more than those involving other drugs, although this difference diminished in 2010, with only 3,893 more amphetamine arrests than arrests for other drugs. Overall, however, there has been a 258 percent increase in the number of amphetamine-related arrests since 1996–97.
  • In 2009–10, the number of cocaine arrests increased by 47 percent, rising from 848 in 2008–09 to 1,244. Despite this, the overall number of cocaine arrests remained lower than for any other drug type throughout the period.

Source: Reference 16

Figure 32: Consumer/provider status of drug arrestees, by type of drug, 2009–10 (%)

Consumer/provider status of drug arrestees, by type of drug, 2009–10 (%)

a: Includes hallucinogens, steroids and other drugs (not defined elsewhere)

  • Drug arrests involving a consumer were far more common across all drug types than those involving a provider. The highest proportion of those arrested (both consumers and providers) were for crimes involving cannabis (86%).
  • Providers accounted for 32 percent of cocaine-related arrests, 31 percent of heroin-related arrests and 28 and 24 percent of amphetamine and other drug-related offences, respectively.

Source: Reference 16

Figure 33: Drug consumers, by gender and type of drug, 2009–10 (%)

Drug consumers, by gender and type of drug, 2009–10 (%)

a: Includes hallucinogens, steroids, and other drugs (not defined elsewhere)

  • Males were more prevalent as identified drug consumers than females, across all drug categories.
  • The representation of females as drug consumers ranged from 23 percent arrested for heroin-related offences to 14 percent for cocaine.

Source: Reference 16

Figure 34: Sex of arrested drug providers, by type of drug, 2009–10 (%)

Sex of arrested drug providers, by type of drug, 2009–10 (%)

a: Includes hallucinogens, steroids, and other drugs (not defined elsewhere)

  • A smaller proportion of females than males were arrested across all categories of drugs. Females were more likely to be arrested for heroin-related crimes than any other drug, with 24 percent of providers arrested on heroin charges being female.
  • The proportion of males arrested for providing ranged from 76 percent for heroin, to 83 percent for cannabis and 89 percent for cocaine-related offences.

Source: Reference 16