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Chapter 4: Selected offender profiles

The offender information reported in previous editions of Australian Crime: Facts & Figures, Chapter Four has been drawn from Victorian, Queensland and South Australian police data. The ABS now supplies offender information that encompasses more jurisdictions and is therefore more reflective of national patterns and trends. As a result, offender information reported in Chapter Four is no longer comparable with information contained in editions prior to 2012.

This chapter brings together information on offenders from two sources:

  • the AIC’s Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program; and
  • the ABS’ Recorded Crime—Offenders, Selected States and Territories, 2010–11.

Recorded Crime—Offenders, Selected States and Territories, 2010–11 includes national data on offender age and sex for four key offence categories:

  • acts intended to cause injury;
  • theft and related offences;
  • illicit drug offences; and
  • public order offences.

It also contains information on offender characteristics for other offences on a state-by-state basis.

Offenders

This chapter presents data on offenders classified according to sex and age. The main purpose here is to give an indicative view of major issues relating to offenders, particularly the following:

  • At what age do offending rates peak?
  • How does the age/offending pattern of male offenders compare with that of female offenders?
  • Are female offender rates increasing?

The number of offenders does not equal the number of distinct alleged offenders during a year, because police may take action against the same individual for several offences, or the individual may be processed on more than one occasion for the same offence type. Neither does it equate to the total number of crimes cleared during a given period, as one crime may involve more than one offender.

The offender data are for the following major types of crime:

  • homicide and related offences (murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, infanticide and driving causing death);
  • assault;
  • sexual assault;
  • robbery;
  • unlawful entry with intent;
  • MVT;
  • other theft; and
  • fraud and deception-related crime.

Source: Reference 19

Age

Persons aged 15 to 19 years are more likely to be processed by police for the commission of a crime than are members of any other population. In 2010–11, the offending rate for persons aged 15 to 19 years was almost three times the rate for all other offenders (5,667 per 100,000 compared with 1,872 per 100,000 respectively).

Figure 51 Offenders by age, 2007–08 to 2010–11 (rate per 100,000 relevant persons)

Offenders by age, 2007–08 to 2010–11 (rate per 100,000 relevant persons)

a: ‘All’ refers to all offenders aged 10 years and over

b: Includes incidents where the offender’s crime was unknown

  • For the past four years, the rate of offending has consistently been highest in the 15 to 19 year age group. In 2010–11, the rate of offending within this age group was 5,667 per 100,000 compared with a rate of offending of 4,248 per 100,000 population for persons aged 20 to 24 years.
  • Between 2009–10 and 2010–11, there was an overall decrease in the offending rate of two percent, decreasing from 1,917 to 1,872 per 100,000 population. However, the group that showed the greatest decline was in the 10–14 year age group, where offending decreased from 1,589 per 100,000 to 1,442—a total decrease of 10 percent.
  • Between 2007 and 2008, the rate of offending in the 25 years and over age group has been increasing gradually. Offending increased by seven percent between 2007–08 and 2008–09 and then again by six percent in 2009–10 to 1,285 per 100,000 population. In 2010–11, however, the rate did not change significantly and was recorded at 1,280 per 100,000 population.

Source: Reference 19

Figure 52 Offenders by selected violent offences and age, 2010–11 (rate per 100,000 population)

Offenders by selected violent offences and age, 2010–11 (rate per 100,000 population)

  • The pattern across most crimes showed that offending rates were highest in the 15–19 year age group. For example, the rate of robbery/extortion offending was 23 per 100,000 population of 10 to 14 year olds compared with 115 per 100,000 population of 15–19 year olds and 44 per 100,000 population of 20 to 24 year olds.
  • In 2011, the rate of offending for acts intended to cause injury in the 15 to 19 year age group was 886 per 100,000 population. However, the rate of offending was lower in each of the subsequent age groups, with offenders aged 55–59 years committing acts intended to cause injury at a rate of 85 per 100,000.
  • While the rate of sexual assault offending was highest in the 15 to 19 year age group, the rate of offending by 10 to 14 year olds was higher than the rate of offending among individuals aged 50 years or over. Specifically, 10 to 14 year olds committed sexual assault at a rate of 27 per 100,000 population compared with a rate of 22 per 100,000 population in the 50–54 year age group and 18 per 100,000 in the 60 to 64 year age group.
  • Homicide was the only crime where the offending rate was not highest in the 15–19 year age group. Though never greater than 10 per 100,000 population in any age group, homicide offending was highest among offenders aged 20–24 years (8 per 100,000).

Source: Reference 19

Figure 53 Offenders by selected property offences and age, 2010–11 (rate per 100,000 population)

Offenders by selected property offences and age, 2010–11 (rate per 100,000 population)

  • In 2011, the rate of theft was 1,407 per 100,000 population in the 15 to 19 year age group. This was significantly higher than the rates of offending in either the 10 to 14 year age group (514 per 100,000 population) or the 20 to 24 age group (584 per 100,000 population). However, after 45 years of age, the rates of offending remained low; for instance, 27 per 100,000 population in the 65 years and over age group.
  • The rate of offending in the 10–14 year age group was higher for UEWI than for property damage. Specifically, the rate of offending was 206 per 100,000 for UEWI compared with 155 per 100,000 population for property damage. However, the offending rates for property damage remained higher for subsequent age groups compared with that of UEWI.

Source: Reference 19

Sex

In 2010–11, the total number of offenders was 371,040 nationally. Of these, 287,632 were male and 82,502 were female (note—906 offenders did not have their sex recorded). The ratio of males to female offenders in 2010–11 was approximately three to one.

Figure 54 Offenders by sex, 2007–08 to 2010–11 (per 100,000 of that sex per year)

Offenders by sex, 2007–08 to 2010–11 (per 100,000 of that sex per year)

  • Over the four year period from 2007–08 to 2010–11, males have consistently offended at higher rates than females. In 2010–11, the rate of offending for males was 2,936 per 100,000 population compared with 827 per 100,000 for females.
  • The rate of offending for both sexes increased between 2007–08 and 2009–10, with male offending rising by 10 percent (from 2,719 to 3,001 per 100,000 population) and female offending rising by 12 percent (from 761 to 854 per 100,000 population). However, between 2009–10 and 2010–11 both offending rates decreased—by two percent for males and by three percent for females.

Source: References 2 and 19

Males

Figure 55 Male offenders by age, 2007–08 to 2010–11 (per 100,000 males of that age per year)

Male offenders by age, 2007–08 to 2010–11 (per 100,000 males of that age per year)

Note: ‘All’ refers to all male offenders aged 10 years and over

  • The rates of offending for males in the 15–19 and 20–24 year age groups has consistently been higher than that of the overall rate of offending. In 2010–11, the overall rate of offending for males was 2,928 per 100,000 population, while offending in the 15–19 year age group was 8,343 per 100,000 and 6,669 per 100,000 in the 20–24 year age group.
  • In the last three years, the rate of offending in the 25 years and over age group has increased and in 2010–11 was greater than that in the 10–14 year age group. In 2008–09, the rate of offending in both these groups was relatively similar—around 1,999 per 100,000 in each group. However, in 2010–11, the rate of offending for males aged 10–14 years decreased by nine percent from the previous year (1,893 down from 2,075 per 100,000 population in 2009–10) causing it to drop below that of males aged 25 years and over (2,043 per 100,000 population).

Source: References 2 and 19

Figure 56 Male offenders by offence type, 2009–10 and 2010–11 (per 100,000 males per year)

Male offenders by offence type, 2009–10 and 2010–11 (per 100,000 males per year)

  • Acts intended to cause injury (AICI) and illicit drug offences remained the categories of crime with the highest rate of male offending. However, both declined between 2009–10 and 2010–11, with AICI decreasing by seven percent (552 to 514 per 100,000 population) and illicit drug offences by two percent (431 to 424 per 100,000 population).
  • Theft was the only category of crime where the male offending rate increased between 2009–10 and 2010–11. Specifically, in 2009–10, the rate of male theft offending was 365 per 100,000 population, compared with 370 per 100,000 in 2010–11—an increase of two percent.
  • Fraud and sexual assault both declined in 2010–11. Male fraud offending decreased by 22 percent to 54 per 100,000 population, while the rate of sexual assault offending was 52 per 100,000—a decrease of 15 percent on the previous year.
  • Homicide and robbery/extortion were the two categories of crime with the lowest rate of male offending. In 2010–11, males committed robbery/extortion at a rate of 31 per 100,000 and homicide at a rate of six per 100,000.

Source: References 2 and 19

Females

Figure 57 Female offenders by age group, 2007–08 to 2010–11 (per 100,000 females of that age group per year)

Female offenders by age group, 2007–08 to 2010–11 (per 100,000 females of that age group per year)

Note: ‘All’ refers to all female offenders aged 10 years and over

  • In 2010–11, the female offending rates in the age groups of 15 to 19 years (2,830 per 100,000 population) and 20 to 24 years (1,660 per 100,000 population) were higher than the general offending rate for all females (827 per 100,000 population).
  • Between 2007–08 and 2009–10, female offending increased across all age groups. The offending rate for females aged 25 years and over increased by 31 percent from 417 to 546 per 100,000 population. The offending rate for females aged 10 to 14 years also increased by 14 percent, from 942 to 1,071 per 100,000.
  • Compared with the 2009–10 rates, however, female offending decreased across all age groups in 2010–11. For instance, the rate of offending for females aged 10 to 14 years decreased by 10 percent, while there was a five percent decrease for females aged 15 to 19 years and a one percent decrease for females in the 20 to 24 year age group and for those aged over 25 years.

Source: References 2 and 19

Figure 58 Female offenders by offence type, 2009–10 and 2010–11 (per 100,000 females per year)

Female offenders by offence type, 2009–10 and 2010–11 (per 100,000 females per year)

  • The rate of offending decreased across all categories of criminal offences between 2009–10 and 2010–11. However, it was most noticeable for fraud/deception, which decreased by 19 percent (34 to 28 per 100,000 population) and UEWI, which decreased by 13 percent (20 to 17 per 100,000 population).
  • Female offending in the categories of homicide and sexual assault occurred at rates less than three per 100,000 population in both 2009–10 and 2010–11. Specifically, in 2010–11, the rate of sexual assault offending by females was two per 100,000 population, while for homicide the rate was one per 100,000.
  • Theft remained the offence category with the highest rate of offending. However, the rate declined by eight percent; decreasing from 246 to 228 per 100,000 population.
  • In 2010–11, the rate of illicit drug offending by females was 101 per 100,000 population.

Source: References 2 and 19

Juveniles

There are differences among the states in their definition of a juvenile. Data in this section include alleged offenders aged between 10 and 17 years.

Figure 59 Juvenile and adult offenders by age group, 2008–09 to 2010–11 (per 100,000 of that age group per year)

Juvenile and adult offenders by age group, 2008–09 to 2010–11 (per 100,000 of that age group per year)

  • The rate of juvenile offending has been consistently higher than that of adult offending over the three year period. Specifically, in 2010–11, adults offended at a rate of 1,727 per 100,000 population, compared with juveniles who offended at a rate of 2,936 per 100,000 population.
  • While adult offending has remained relatively consistent, averaging approximately 1,726 per 100,000 population per year, juvenile offending decreased between 2009–10 and 2010–11. In 2010–11, the juvenile offending rate was six percent lower than that recorded in 2009–10 (3,118 per 100,000 population).

Source: References 2 and 19

Figure 60 Juvenile offenders by sex and selected offence, 2010–11 (per 100,000 juveniles of that sex)

Juvenile offenders by sex and selected offence, 2010–11 (per 100,000 juveniles of that sex)

  • In 2010–11, there were only four homicides committed by female juvenile offenders compared with 44 by male juvenile offenders. This equates to a rate of offending of four per 100,000 population for males and less than one per 100,000 for female juveniles.
  • Male and female juveniles had the highest rates of offending for the categories of theft, AICI and public order offences. In 2010–11, the offending rate for theft was 1,082 per 100,000 for males and 792 per 100,000 population for females. For AICI, it was 617 per 100,000 for males and 345 per 100,000 population for females. Finally for public order offences, males offended at a rate of 583 per 100,000 and females at a rate of 221 per 100,000 population.
  • In no category of criminal offence did the rate of juvenile female offending exceed that of male juvenile offending. This was especially noticeable in the categories of UEWI and property damage. In both instances, male offending was almost five times that of female offending, with females offending at a rate of only 79 per 100,000 for UEWI and 78 per 100,000 population for property damage.

Source: References 2 and 19

Figure 61 Young offenders by age and selected violent offence, 2010–11 (rate per 100,000 age)

Young offenders by age and selected violent offence, 2010–11 (rate per 100,000 age)

  • For homicide, AICI, abduction/harassment and robbery/extortion, rates of offending were highest among 17 year olds. Specifically, in 2010–11, 17 year olds offended at a rate of 10 per 100,000 population for homicide, 39 per 100,000 for abduction/harassment, 137 per 100,000 for robbery/extortion and 922 per 100,000 for AICI.
  • Compared with any other juveniles in the 10 to 19 year old age group, 15 year olds had the highest rate of sexual assault offending. In 2010–11, 15 year olds committed sexual assault at a rate of 64 per 100,000 population, compared with 59 per 100,000 for 14 year olds and 62 per 100,000 for 16 year olds.
  • Overall, young people committed AICI at a greater rate than any other type of violent crime. This included at the very bottom end of the age spectrum, where 10 year olds committed AICI at a rate of 35 per 100,000 population. This is almost five times lower than the rate of AICI committed by 19 year old offenders, which was 886 per 100,000 population in 2010–11.

Source: References 2 and 19

Figure 62 Young offenders, by age and selected property offence, 2010–11 (rate per 100,000 age population)

Young offenders, by age and selected property offence, 2010–11 (rate per 100,000 age population)

  • For property crimes, offenders were slightly younger than offenders of violent crimes (where offending most commonly peaked around 17 years of age). In 2010–11, theft and property damage was highest among offenders who were 16 years of age, while UEWI was highest among 15 year olds.
  • Theft was committed at a rate of 321 per 100,000 population among 12 year old offenders. This was substantially lower than the rate of theft offending among 16 year olds (1,641 per 100,000 population). Despite the rate of offending being lower among offenders older than 16 years, theft remained the most commonly committed property offence. For example, theft occurred at a rate of 974 per 100,000 for 19 year olds, compared with a rate of 208 per 100,000 for UEWI and 341 per 100,000 population for property damage.
  • Unlike theft and UEWI, the rates of property damage were not lower among offenders aged greater than 16 years. While offending was highest among 16 year olds at 395 per 100,000, on average, property damage occurred at a rate of 386 per 100,000 population for offenders aged 17 and 18 years.

Source: References 2 and 19

Drug use by offenders

Police detainees

Established in 1999 and operating at selected watchhouses and police stations across Australia, the AIC’s DUMA program is Australia’s largest national survey of the illicit drug use patterns of police detainees. Detainees are interviewed within 48 hours of arrest and asked a series of questions relating to their drug and alcohol use, treatment history, prior contact with the criminal justice system and a range of socio-demographic factors (eg age, Indigenous status and employment status; Reference 39). Detainees are also requested to provide a urine sample for urinalysis to confirm drug use.

DUMA provides a reasonable and independent indicator of drug-related crime at the selected locations. By 2010, nine sites were being monitored—East Perth in Western Australia, Southport and Brisbane City in Queensland, Bankstown, Parramatta and Kings Cross in New South Wales, Adelaide City in South Australia, Darwin in the Northern Territory and Footscray in Victoria. Brisbane City and Adelaide City began participating in 2002, Darwin and Footscray in 2006 and King Cross in 2009.

Data collection at the Elizabeth site in South Australia ceased in Quarter Four in 2007, while the Alice Springs site was discontinued in 2008. Therefore, there are no data for either Elizabeth or Alice Springs in 2011. Data are collected quarterly and presented in the following figures as annual averages.

As the DUMA data deals with percentage of drug use as opposed to the count, changes and comparisons between years are reported in percentage points. The nine sites differed in the proportion of police detainees testing positive to each of methamphetamine, cocaine, cannabis and heroin.

Source: Reference 20

Figure 63 Police detainees testing positive to any druga by DUMA site, 2006–11 (%)

Police detainees testing positive to any drug by DUMA site

a: A drug is defined as cannabis, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, or benzodiazepines

  • In 2009, 80 percent of detainees tested positive to a drug at the Footscray testing site—the highest of any testing site in the six year period. Conversely, the lowest recorded proportion was 50 percent of adult male police detainees at the Darwin site in 2009.
  • In 2006, 66 percent of police detainees at the Parramatta site tested positive to any drug. By 2009, this proportion had decreased by 13 percentage points to 53 percent. However, in 2011, the proportion had increased again to 64 percent.
  • The Brisbane site has remained fairly consistent over the last six years. On average, 65 percent of detainees tested positive to any drug.

Source: Reference 20

Figure 64 Police detainees testing positive to cannabis by DUMA location, 2006–11 (%)

Police detainees testing positive to cannabis by DUMA location, 2006–11 (%)

  • In most of the testing sites, there was an overall decrease in police detainees testing positive to cannabis. At the Bankstown, Parramatta, East Perth, Southport, Adelaide and Footscray sites, the proportion of detainees who tested positive was lower in 2011 than it was in 2006.
  • In 2011, 60 percent of detainees at the Darwin site tested positive to cannabis. This is a five percentage point increase on the 55 percent recorded in 2010.
  • Since 2006, an average of 39 percent of detainees have tested positive at the Bankstown testing site—the lowest of any long-term site.

Source: Reference 20

Figure 65 Police detainees testing positive to methamphetamine by DUMA location, 2006–11 (%)

Police detainees testing positive to methamphetamine by DUMA location, 2006–11 (%)

Note: The scale for this chart is different from that of other charts as the percentages involved are relatively small

  • In 2011, the proportion of detainees who tested positive to methamphetamines in Bankstown increased by four percentage points from the previous year, rising to 13 percent.
  • In 2007, the East Perth site recorded the highest proportions of detainees testing positive to methamphetamines (31%). Since then, the proportions testing positive at the East Perth testing site have decreased to 16 percent in 2009 and 22 percent in 2011.
  • Over the six year period, the Darwin testing site has consistently recorded the smallest proportion of police detainees testing positive to methamphetamine of any testing site. Specifically, proportions have remained less than eight percent each year and in 2011, only four percent tested positive.
  • All sites recorded an increase in the proportion of detainees testing positive to methamphetamine between 2010 and 2011 except Darwin and Footscray. In Footscray, the proportion testing positive decreased by 10 percentage points from 28 percent recorded in 2010 to 18 percent in 2011.

Source: Reference 20

Figure 66 Police detainees testing positive to heroin by DUMA location, 2006 to 2011 (%)

Police detainees testing positive to heroin by DUMA location, 2006 to 2011 (%)

  • The highest proportion of detainees who tested positive to heroin was 53 percent. The proportion was recorded in Footscray in 2009. In 2011, the proportion was 52 percent.
  • For the last two years, the proportions testing positive to heroin at Kings Cross have remained consistent at 16 percent.
  • The proportions of detainees testing positive to heroin at the East Perth, Adelaide and Darwin testing sites have consistently remained below 10 percent for the six year period.

Source: Reference 20

Figure 67 Police detainees testing positive to cocaine by DUMA location, 2006–2011 (%)

Police detainees testing positive to cocaine by DUMA location, 2006–2011 (%)

Note: The scale for this chart is different from that of other charts as the percentages involved are relatively small

  • The proportions of detainees testing positive to cocaine at Kings Cross have been decreasing since testing began at the site in 2009. Initially, 25 percent of detainees were found to have cocaine in their system at the time of arrest, compared with 15 percent in 2010. In 2011, only five percent tested positive.
  • Similarly, the proportions have been declining at the Footscray site since 2009 (11%) and in 2011, only four percent tested positive to cocaine.
  • Since 2006, no detainees have tested positive to cocaine at the Darwin testing site, while both the Brisbane and East Perth sites have remained at around one percent or below.
  • Three percent of detainees tested positive to cocaine at the Bankstown site in 2011. This is four percentage points lower than that recorded in 2006 (7%); the highest recorded at any testing site in 2006.

Source: Reference 20

Figure 68 Police detainees testing positive to selected drugs at four long-term sitesa, 1999 to 2011 (%)

Police detainees testing positive to selected drugs at four long-term sites, 1999 to 2011 (%)

a: Bankstown, Parramatta, East Perth, Southport

  • Police detainees tested positive to cannabis (48%) more frequently than any other type of drug. In 2011, 66 percent of detainees tested positive to a drug.
  • Despite over half of the population of police detainees testing positive to a drug,the proportions are lower than those recorded in 1999. For example, in 1999, 74 percent of detainees tested positive to a drug compared with 66 percent in 2011. In 2005, 63 percent of detainees tested positive to any drug—the lowest on record. This proportion was also recorded in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
  • Since 2005, the proportion of police detainees testing positive to cocaine or heroin has remained less than 10 percent. Specifically, the average proportion of detainees testing positive to cocaine or heroin per year is approximately two and eight percent respectively.
  • Methamphetamine use increased between 2010 and 2011 by eight percentage points.

Source: Reference 20

Figure 69 Police detainees testing positive to a drug by type of offence, 2011 (%)

Police detainees testing positive to a drug by type of offence, 2011 (%)

a: Methamphetamine

b: Benzodiazepines

  • In 2011, a greater proportion of detainees charged with a property offence (72%)were found to have any drug in their system compared with the proportion charged with a violent offence (60%).
  • The most common drug type was cannabis (46% for violent and 49% for property offenders) and the least common was heroin (6% for violent and 18% for property).
  • However, 27 percent of offenders charged with a property offence tested positive to methamphetamine, compared with 26 percent testing positive to benzodiazepines. This pattern was reversed for violent offenders, where 21 percent tested positive to benzodiazepines and 16 percent to methamphetamine.

Source: Reference 20

Characteristics of police detainees

Figure 70 Age group and sex distribution of adult police detainees, 2011 (%)

Age group and sex distribution of adult police detainees, 2011 (%)

  • The greatest proportion of police detainees were aged 36 years and over.
  • Equal proportions of male detainees were aged between 21 and 25 years and 26 to 30 years (20%). By comparison, 21 percent of females were aged between 21 and 25 years, while 16 percent were aged between 26 and 30 years.
  • The smallest proportions of detainees for both sexes were aged between 18 and 20 years.

Source: Reference 20

Figure 71 Adult police detainees by education level, 2011 (%)

Adult police detainees by education level, 2011 (%)

  • Very few police detainees possessed a qualification at university level or higher. However, the proportion of females who had completed university level education or higher was three percentage points higher than that recorded for males (8% compared with 5%).
  • Greater proportions of male detainees had only completed Year 11 or 12 (19% compared with 16%) or had completed TAFE (21% compared with 19%).
  • The majority of detainees, regardless of sex, had only completed education to the Year 10 or below level; specifically, 41 percent of male detainees and 42 percent of females.

Source: Reference 20

Figure 72 Adult police detainees by source of income (non-crime generated) in the past 30 days, 2011 (%)

Adult police detainees by source of income (non-crime generated) in the past 30 days, 2011 (%)

Note: Survey respondents could select more than 1 source of income. Therefore, the percentage for each sex may not total 100

  • Both males and female detainees most commonly reported welfare/government benefits as their main source of non-crime generated income. In 2011, 78 percent of females and 57 percent of male police detainees received income from this source.
  • Equal numbers of male and female detainees were found to receive income from a part-time job (14%).
  • Thirty-two percent of male police detainees reported that they held a full-time job, which was 22 percentage points higher than the proportion of female police detainees. Further, 37 percent of female police detainees compared with 32 percent of male detainees reported receiving non-crime generated financial support from friends/family.

Source: Reference 20

Figure 73 Adult police detainees by source of income (crime generated) in past 30 days, 2011 (%)

Adult police detainees by source of income (crime generated) in past 30 days, 2011 (%)

a: Sex work is decriminalised in some states and territories

b: Includes theft, fraud, burglary and robbery

Note: Survey respondents could select more than 1 source of income. As such, the percentage for each sex may not total 100

  • Sex work was the least common source of crime-generated income for both sexes. However, less than one percent of male detainees reported receiving an income through sex work, compared with five percent for females.
  • Drug dealing/other drug crimes were the most common source of crime-generated income for males, reported by eight percent of detainees. Nine percent of females received crime-generated income through shoplifting.

Source: Reference 20

Figure 74 Adult police detainees by previous experience of homelessness, arrest and imprisonment and mental illness, 2011 (%)

Adult police detainees by previous experience of homelessness, arrest and imprisonment and mental illness, 2011 (%)

  • Recidivism was quite common for male and female police detainees. Over 40 percent of both male and female detainees reported having been arrested on a previous occasion in the last 12 months.
  • Nearly half of female detainees (48%) reported having been diagnosed or treated for a mental health issue. Thirty-two percent of male detainees reported similar issues.
  • Only five percent of male and four percent of female detainees reported living on the street or not having a fixed address in the 30 days prior to arrest.

Source: Reference 20

Most serious offence

Table 7 Most serious offence of adult male police detainees, 2004–11 (%)
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Violent offences 26 25 28 27 28 27 29 29
Property offences 28 24 23 21 20 19 19 17
Drug offences 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8
Drink-driving offences 6 4 5 6 6 5 5 5
Traffic offences 9 12 9 9 8 7 7 5
Disorder offences 6 6 7 6 7 8 8 11
Breaches 15 18 17 19 20 16 23 22
Other offences 4 4 5 5 4 9 2 3
Table 8 Most serious offence of adult female police detainees, 2004–11 (%)
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Violent offences 17 18 20 20 18 18 23 23
Property offences 41 37 37 35 36 31 29 28
Drug offences 7 7 7 9 9 10 10 8
Drink-driving offences 3 3 2 4 5 5 5 4
Traffic offences 8 10 10 6 8 5 5 5
Disorder offences 6 7 5 7 5 9 8 8
Breaches 13 13 13 16 15 12 18 21
Other offences 6 5 5 3 4 9 3 3
  • On average, from 2004 to 2011, the most serious offence (MSO) committed by male police detainees most frequently was a violent offence. Conversely, for females it has been property offences.
  • The proportion of males charged with disorder offences has increased overall, from six percent in 2004 to 11 percent in 2011.
  • The top three most serious offences for males and females have been violent and property offences, followed by breaches of court orders. In 2011, 21 percent of female detainees were charged with a breach as their most serious offence compared with 22 percent of males.
  • Since 2004, the proportion of female detainees whose most serious offence was a property offence has decreased from 41 percent to 28 percent.

Source: Reference 20