Australian Institute of Criminology

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Crimes against international students in Australia: 2005–09

Special report

Jacqueline Joudo Larsen, Jason Payne, Adam Tomison
ISSN 978 1 921532 90 0
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, August 2011

Abstract

A key part of the Australian Institute of Criminology’s role is to provide a capacity to investigate new and evolving crimes and in the past two years, there has been significant interest in determining the nature and extent to which international students studying in Australia are victims of crime.

Detailed findings are provided from what is the most comprehensive student victimisation study ever conducted in Australia, based on an analysis of Department of Immigration and Citizenship international student visa records for more than 400,000 students matched with police crime victimisation records. In addition, supplementary analysis of the AIC’s National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) database, as well as the Australian component of the 2004 International Crime Victimisation Survey (ICVS), are used to provide additional context to the AIC’s investigation.

Primarily, this research was designed to provide the best available estimation of the extent to which international students have been the victims of crime during their time in Australia and to determine whether international students are more or less likely than an Australian comparison population to have experienced crime.

This report provides the best available estimation of the extent to which international students have been the victims of crime during their time in Australia and has enabled the rate of recorded crimes experienced by international students from the five largest source countries (People’s Republic of China, India, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the United States) to be compared with the rate for Australian reference populations. While this research has not answered the question of whether attacks against overseas students are racially motivated, the findings from this research do point to other factors such as employment and the use of public transport, that influence the risk or likelihood of overseas students experiencing crime. This provides direction for crime prevention efforts to reduce the risk of crime for this population.

This report represents the culmination of the AIC’s research into crimes against international students.

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