Australian Institute of Criminology

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National summary of findings

The student sample

Between 2005 and 2009, 418,294 international students from five countries (India, People's Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Malaysia and United States) arrived to study in Australia. This included students who had arrived before, but were continuing their studies in 2005, as well those who commenced study in Australia at any time between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2009. For the purpose of this section, each student is counted only once irrespective of how long they remained studying in Australia. Over the five years to 2009, the number of international students arriving to study in Australia was greatest from the People's Republic of China (n=166,034, 40%), followed by India (n=125,423, 30%), the Republic of Korea (n=51,939, 12%), the United States (n=38,430, 9%) and Malaysia (n=36,468, 9%).

Overall, the annual number of international students increased by 28 percent from 69,954 in 2005 to 89,674 in 2009, although the highest number in any single year was 95,553 (in 2008; see Table 6). The overall increase in the number of international students was the product of a substantial increase in the number of students from India, which more than doubled between 2005 (n=14,204) and 2009 (n=29,594; see also Figure 3). Students from the United States were also substantially higher in 2009 (n=8,642) compared with 2005 (n=1,369), although this increase was not linear. Instead, the number of students from the United States increased substantially in 2006 (n=9,878) and has been slowly declining since then.

Finally, 2008 was the year in which the number of students arriving to study in Australia peaked, with the number declining by six percent in 2009. This decline was driven primarily by a substantial decrease in the number of students from India (down by 18%) the Republic of Korea (down by 16%) and the United States (down by 6%). Conversely, the number of students from the People's Republic of China and Malaysia increased against trend between 2008 and 2009 (up by 7% and 8% respectively).

Just over half of all international students commencing study in Australia between 2005 and 2009 were male (55%); however, this result was biased by a significantly disproportionate number of male students from India (74% of all Indian students; see Figure 4). For each of the other four countries, females studying in Australia outnumbered their male counterparts. For example, 53 percent of students from the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Korea were female; 47 percent were male. For the United States, 61 percent of students were female and 39 percent were male.

Table 6: International students arriving in Australia by year, gender and nationality, all states, 2005–09 (n)
Males
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited StatesTotal
2005 11,974 17,407 4,114 4,421 659 38,575
2006 15,406 15,199 6,189 3,740 3,805 44,339
2007 20,587 13,719 5,004 2,918 3,662 45,890
2008 25,327 15,589 4,821 3,111 3,551 52,399
2009 19,197 16,684 4,133 3,584 3,455 47,053
Total 92,491 78,598 24,261 17,774 15,132 228,256
(Total valid) (89,779) (79,530) (14,014) (18,718) (14,727) (216,768)
Females
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited StatesTotal
2005 2,230 19,326 4,606 4,507 710 31,379
2006 3,406 16,570 7,367 3,888 6,073 37,304
2007 6,014 14,790 5,805 3,263 5,708 35,580
2008 10,885 17,789 5,407 3,453 5,620 43,154
2009 10,397 18,961 4,493 3,583 5,187 42,621
Total 32,932 87,436 27,678 18,694 23,298 190,038
(Total valid) (31,415) (87,671) (15,837) (19,125) (22,243) (176,291)
All students
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited StatesTotal
2005 14,204 36,733 8,720 8,928 1,369 69,954
2006 18,812 31,769 13,556 7,628 9,878 81,643
2007 26,601 28,509 10,809 6,181 9,370 81,470
2008 36,212 33,378 10,228 6,564 9,171 95,553
2009 29,594 35,645 8,626 7,167 8,642 89,674
Total 125,423 166,034 51,939 36,468 38,430 418,294
(Total valid) (121,194) (167,201) (29,851) (37,843) (36,970) (393,059)

Note: Valid students are those with a valid CRICOS number

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

More than half of all students studying in Australia were aged between 20 and 24 years (56%). A further one in four (26%) were aged between 25 and 34 years, while 17 percent were aged between 15 and 19 years. Only a small fraction of international students (2%) were 35 years or older at commencement of their studies.

Some notable age differences existed between the five countries. In particular, a greater number students aged between 15 and 19 years were from the People's Republic of China (24%) than from the United States (10%) or India (7%; see Figure 5). Conversely, a greater proportion of students from the Republic of Korea (43%) and India (37%) were aged between 25 and 34 years. Students from the Republic of Korea, in particular, were disproportionately older than students from any of the other four countries, having as many as 51 percent of students aged 25 years or older.

Overall, the findings suggest that students from China, Malaysia and the United States were, on average, younger than their counterparts from India and the Republic of Korea.

Figure 3: Annual international students arriving to study in Australia by year and nationality, all states, 2005–09 (n)

Figure 3: Annual international students arriving to study in Australia by year and nationality, all states, 2005–09 (n)

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Figure 4: Gender distribution by nationality, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Figure 4: Gender distribution by nationality, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

The vast majority of all students studying in Australia between 2005 and 2009 commenced study at an institution located in either New South Wales (35%) or Victoria (34%; see Figure 6). A further 14 percent commenced their studies in Queensland, while seven percent commenced in South Australia and six percent in Western Australia. Tasmania (3%), the Australian Capital Territory (2%) and the Northern Territory (1%) had the lowest number of international students, comprising a combined total of just six percent of all students across the five year period (see Table 7). Note that the combined sum of the jurisdictional student numbers is lower than the total student numbers presented earlier because jurisdictional identification was only possible for students with a valid CRICOS number.

Figure 5: Age distribution by nationality, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Figure 5: Age distribution by nationality, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Figure 6: Jurisdictional distribution of primary student visa holders, 2005–09 (%)

Figure 6: Jurisdictional distribution of primary student visa holders, 2005–09 (%)

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Table 7: Annual students arriving to study in Australia by gender, state and nationality, 2005–09 (n)
Males
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited StatesTotal
NSW 23,482 33,392 6,369 2,734 6,216 72,193
Vic 44,387 24,009 2,436 6,647 2,207 79,686
Qld 11,466 7,593 2,995 1,850 4,318 28,222
WA 4,234 4,018 943 3,211 1,143 13,549
SA 4,836 5,747 650 1,708 397 13,338
Tas 667 2,684 391 2,174 201 6,117
ACT 590 2,032 225 382 228 3,457
NT 117 55 5 12 17 206
Total 89,779 79,530 14,014 18,718 14,727 216,768
Females
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited StatesTotal
NSW 7,734 37,025 7,662 2,873 9,374 64,668
Vic 14,929 26,483 2,491 6,840 3,145 53,888
Qld 4,891 9,726 3,419 2,059 6,973 27,068
WA 1,414 3,798 944 3,440 1,665 11,261
SA 2,070 6,569 812 2,242 518 12,211
Tas 99 1,919 251 1,293 195 3,757
ACT 227 2,079 255 358 345 3,264
NT 51 72 3 20 28 174
Total 31,415 87,671 15,837 19,125 22,243 176,291
All students
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited StatesTotal
NSW 31,216 70,417 14,031 5,607 15,590 136,861
Vic 59,316 50,492 4,927 13,487 5,352 133,574
Qld 16,357 17,319 6,414 3,909 11,291 55,290
WA 5,648 7,816 1,887 6,651 2,808 24,810
SA 6,906 12,316 1,462 3,950 915 25,549
Tas 766 4,603 642 3,467 396 9,874
ACT 817 4,111 480 740 573 6,721
NT 168 127 8 32 45 380
Total 121,194 167,201 29,851 37,843 36,970 393,059

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

However, the jurisdictional distribution of students was not equally divided between each of the five countries (see Figure 7). New South Wales, for example, accommodated a disproportionately larger share of students from the Republic of Korea (47%), the People's Republic of China (42%) and the United States (42%). Victoria, by contrast, accommodated a larger than average share of students from India (49%).

Figure 7: Jurisdictional distribution by nationality, 2005–09 (%)

Figure 7: Jurisdictional distribution by nationality, 2005–09 (%)

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

In Figure 8, a breakdown is provided of the nationality of students across each state and territory. The results confirm that Chinese students made up the single largest student group in New South Wales (51%), followed by Indian (23%) and US students (11%). In Victoria, Indian students (44%) outnumbered Chinese students (38%); whereas in Queensland, Chinese and Indian students comprised roughly equal proportions (31% and 30%, respectively). In South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, Chinese students outnumbered all other student groups. In the Northern Territory, although the student numbers were very small, Indian students comprised the largest proportion (44%).

Figure 8: Nationality distribution by state, 2005–09 (%)

Figure 8: Nationality distribution by state, 2005–09 (%)

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Identifying and measuring victimisation

As outlined in the Methodology, a comprehensive name and date of birth search across police victimisation databases yielded a total of 23,732 records of offences against primary student visa holders between 2005 and 2009. Of these records, a proportion were later identified as ineligible for analysis, including duplicate records or records that were incorrectly selected during the application of Soundex in the matching process. Further, some records were for offence types (disorderly conduct, breaches, traffic and driving offences) which could not be reasonably counted as incidents of victimisation based solely on the offence description alone and were therefore excluded. Finally, a number of offence types (eg sex and fraud offences) were excluded because sample sizes and offence numbers were insufficient to conduct reliable comparative analysis at a jurisdictional level. Of the remaining data, three key offence types—assault, robbery and other theft —were chosen for comparative analysis. In all, the final database contained 13,204 unique victims (3% of all students) who reported a total of 14,855 records of assault (n=3,201), robbery (n=3,206) and other theft (n=8,440).

Experience of assault

Assault is defined by the ABS as the direct infliction of force, injury or violence upon a person, including attempts or threats. It excludes sexual assault. In this study, episodes of assault were identified for any offence recorded within subdivision 02 (0211 and 0212) of ASOC (ABS 2008b).

The findings for assault, including the number of identified episodes of victimisation, as well as the estimated rates per 1,000 of the population, are provided separately for each jurisdiction in the chapters that follow. National comparisons of assault data are not provided in this report for reasons identified in the Methodology. In brief, it is the generally accepted view that assault data is not collected or recorded consistently between the jurisdictions, thus significantly limiting the reliability of cross-jurisdictional comparisons.

In lieu of comparative analyses between the states and territories, jurisdictional summaries examine intra-jurisdictional trends in assault by comparing the estimated rates per 1,000 for each student group (by nationality) and the weighted state population average. Weights are used to minimise impact of age differences between each of the five student groups, together with the population average in each state.

Differences in the victimisation rates are assessed using 95 percent Poisson confidence intervals. The difference between two point estimates (rates) is considered statistically reliable where the confidence intervals for each estimate do not overlap. In many cases, the inability to identify statistically significant differences is due to the large confidence intervals surrounding estimates with small sample sizes.

In Table 8, a summary is provided of the jurisdictional findings for 2009. Arrows are provided as an indication of statistically reliable differences, while their direction indicates the nature of the difference. For instances where the rate of assault victimisation was significantly different to the state average in 2009, additional information is provided in parentheses to indicate the number of years (between 2005 and 2009) in which that statistical difference was evident. In New South Wales, for example, the rate of assault among male students from India was significantly lower than for males of the same age across New South Wales in 2009. Further, the rate was statistically lower in all five years between 2005 and 2009—represented as ↓(5).

As an overall national summary:

  • New South Wales—Rates of assault among all student groups were significantly lower than the relevant weighted state average in 2009. These findings were generally consistent across the five years between 2005 and 2009. The rate of assault among Indian students (both males and females), although lower than the state average, was significantly higher than for Chinese or Korean students.
  • Victoria—Rates of assault among all student groups were significantly lower than the relevant weighted state average in 2009. The exception was for male students from the United States, where the rate of assault was not significantly different. For most student groups, these lower rates were generally consistent across most years between 2005 and 2009. The exception was for Indian male students, for which the rate of victimisation was only lower in the most recent year (2009) but equal to the state average in the four preceding years. The rate of assault among Indian students (both males and females) was significantly higher than for Chinese, Korean and Malaysian students.
  • Queensland—Rates of assault among male students from the Republic of Korea, Malaysia and the United States were significantly lower than the relevant weighted state average in 2009 and were on a par or significantly lower in the other four years. For Chinese and Indian male students, the rate of assault was not significantly different from the population average over the five years. For female students, rates of assault in 2009 were lower for those from India, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and Malaysia, but not significantly different for females from the United States.

Indian and Chinese male students had a higher rate of assault in 2009 than their male counterparts from the Republic of Korea, Malaysia or the United States. In trend terms, the rate of assault among male Chinese students significantly increased over the five years, whereas the rate was generally stable for the other four countries. Female students from the United States had a rate of assault equal to the population average, but significantly higher than for females from the other four countries.

South Australia—Rates of assault among most student groups were significantly lower than the relevant weighted state average in 2009. The exception was for male students from India and male and female students from Malaysia and the United States where the rate of assault was not significantly different. Between-country comparisons indicated that Indian male students had a higher assault rate then their Chinese counterparts. No other significant differences existed between the countries.

  • Western Australia—Rates of assault among most student groups were significantly lower than the relevant weighted state average in 2009. The exception was for male students from the Republic of Korea where the rate of assault was not significantly different. Indian and US students had significantly lower rates than the state average for one other year, or had rates on a par with the state average.

Between-country comparisons indicated that Indian male and female students had a higher assault rate than their Chinese or Malaysian counterparts.

  • Tasmania—The small sample sizes limit comparative analysis in Tasmania; however, where differences exist for male students from Chinese, Malaysian and US students, the rates of assault were significantly lower than the relevant weighted state average in 2009. No differences could be identified between the different student groups.
  • Australian Capital Territory—The small sample sizes limit comparative analysis in the Australian Capital Territory. No significant differences were found when comparing with the state average or between countries.
Table 8: National summary of assault rates by gender, nationality and state, 2009
 Weighted state averageChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited StatesTrend (2005–09)
MaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemale

NSW

India ↓(5) ↓(5) ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China ↓(5) ↓(5) n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ↓(5) ↓(5) n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ↓(5) ↓(5) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ↓(4) ↓(4) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
Vic India ↓(1) ↓(4) ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China ↓(5) ↓(5) n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ↓(4) ↓(4) n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ↓(5) ↓(5) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ˜ ↓(2) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
Qld India ˜ ↓(3) ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China ˜ ↓(5) n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ↓(4) ↓(4) n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ↓(4) ↓(3) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ↓(3) ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
SA India ˜ ↓(2) ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China ↓(4) ↓(4) n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ↓(1) ↓(1) n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜

WA

India ↓(2) ↓(2) ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China ↓(5) ↓(5) n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ˜ ↓(4) n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ↓(5) ↓(5) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ↓(2) ↓(3) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
Tas India ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China ↓(4) ˜ n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ↓(3) ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ↓(4) ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
ACT India ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China ˜ ˜ n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜

↓Statistically lower

↑Statistically higher

˜ No statistical difference

(n) The figure in parentheses beside the arrows indicates the number of years for which the significant finding (decrease/increase) holds

Note: Comparison of this data with that of any other jurisdiction is not advised. Assault data is not collected or recorded consistently between the jurisdictions, thus significantly limiting the reliability of cross-jurisdictional comparisons. It is for this reason that national comparisons are not provided in this report

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Location of assault

The location, as recorded by the attending police officer, was extracted for each incident of assault. Combined data for all jurisdictions illustrated that for international students between 2005 and 2009, two in every five assaults (42%) occurred in an unspecified location on the street or in an open space (see Figure 9). A further 21 percent occurred at a residential location, 12 percent at a commercial (retail) location and 10 percent at a commercial (hospitality and entertainment) location. The latter category includes hotels, motels, nightclubs and restaurants. Finally, approximately one in 10 incidents was recorded at, or in connection with, public transport facilities. This profile of assault was generally consistent with the profile of assault for the general population (ABS 2010).

A few notable differences were evident between students from different countries (see Table 9). Indian male students were more likely to have been assaulted at a commercial (retail) location (16%) compared with Malaysian (9%), Chinese (9%), Korean (4%) and US (4%) students. Similarly, Indian male students were more likely to have been assaulted on or around public transport facilities (12%) compared with Chinese (5%), Korean (5%), US (4%), or Malaysian (2%) students. Conversely, Indian students had proportionally fewer residential assaults compared with Chinese students.

Figure 9: Location of assault offence, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Figure 9: Location of assault offence, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Table 9: Location of assaults by gender and nationality, all states, 2005–09
Males
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
n%n%n%n%n%
Street/open space 765 44 199 44 48 51 26 48 40 53
Residential 207 12 98 22 17 18 7 13 4 5
Commercial—Retail 279 16 42 9 4 4 5 9 3 4
Commercial—Hospitality/ entertainment 178 10 45 10 13 14 11 20 19 25
Commercial—Financial services 1 0 0 0 0 1 1
Commercial—Other 26 2 5 1 2 2 1 2 1 1
Public transport 209 12 23 5 5 5 1 2 3 4
Educational 14 1 15 3 1 1 1 2 2 3
Other 47 3 27 6 4 4 2 4 3 4
Total 1,726 454 94 54 76
Females
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
n%n%n%n%n%
Street/open space 27 19 80 28 18 29 15 60 17 49
Residential 94 65 152 53 33 52 6 24 5 14
Commercial—Retail 4 3 11 4 5 8 0 2 6
Commercial—Hospitality/entertainment 4 3 13 5 3 5 3 12 5 14
Commercial—Financial services 0 0 0 0 0
Commercial—Other 1 1 2 1 0 0 1 3
Public transport 12 8 14 5 2 3 0 1 3
Educational 1 1 7 2 0 0 0 2 6
Other 1 1 8 3 2 3 1 4 2 6
Total 144 272 63 25 35

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Temporal pattern of assault

As with location, it was possible to profile assaults against international students by examining the time of day and day of week on which the assaults took place. For all international students who were assaulted between 2005 and 2009, most were assaulted in the evening hours between 8 pm and midnight (31%) and midnight and 4 am (29%; see Figure 10). Relatively few assaults occurred during the daytime hours between 8 am and 4 pm (16%) and the distribution of assaults across the week was relatively even, if not slightly skewed towards the weekend.

There were a few notable differences between countries:

  • male students from the Republic of Korea were disproportionately more likely to be assaulted between 4 am and 8 am (21%);
  • female students generally experienced more assaults during the daytime than males; and
  • more than half of all male students from the United States (67%) were assaulted between the four hour period of midnight and 4 am. This was more than double that recorded for Indian (33%), Korean (26%) and Chinese (21%) students (see Table 10).

There was no notable difference between students from different countries in the distribution of incidents across the week (see Table 11). While no nationally comparative data on time of day and day of week of assaults is available, crime statistics published for Victoria (as an example) present a similar temporal pattern (Victoria Police 2009).

Figure 10: Time of day of assault offences, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Figure 10: Time of day of assault offences, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Table 10: Time of day of assaults by gender and nationality, all states, 2005–09
Males
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
n%n%n%n%n%
Midnight–4 am 567 33 94 21 24 26 21 39 51 67
4 am–8 am 167 10 33 7 20 21 5 9 2 3
8 am–noon 63 4 27 6 7 7 1 2 1 1
Noon–4 pm 121 7 54 12 9 10 6 11 3 4
4 pm–8 pm 270 16 88 19 18 19 6 11 2 3
8 pm–midnight 538 31 161 35 16 17 15 28 17 22
Total 1,726 457 94 54 76
Females
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
n%n%n%n%n%
Midnight–4 am 22 15 35 12 13 20 7 29 13 38
4 am–8 am 3 2 10 3 4 6 2 8 4 12
8 am–noon 26 18 43 15 2 3 0 1 3
Noon–4 pm 18 13 53 18 13 20 4 17 1 3
4 pm–8 pm 39 27 66 23 14 22 3 13 4 12
8 pm–midnight 36 25 85 29 18 28 8 33 11 32
Total 144 290 64 24 34

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Table 11: Day of week assaulted by gender and nationality, all states, 2005–09
Males
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
n%n%n%n%n%
Sunday 399 23 73 16 19 20 13 23 14 18
Monday 230 13 61 13 10 11 7 12 12 16
Tuesday 156 9 47 10 16 17 4 7 3 4
Wednesday 160 9 50 11 9 10 4 7 4 5
Thursday 166 10 53 12 5 5 6 11 14 18
Friday 238 14 64 14 17 18 16 28 14 18
Saturday 378 22 109 24 18 19 7 12 15 20
Total 1,722 457 94 57 76
Females
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
n%n%n%n%n%
Sunday 23 16 38 13 14 22 4 16 9 26
Monday 18 13 43 15 9 14 5 20 0 0
Tuesday 15 10 44 15 7 11 1 4 6 17
Wednesday 18 13 37 13 6 10 2 8 1 3
Thursday 20 14 36 13 5 8 6 24 7 20
Friday 22 15 40 14 13 21 1 4 5 14
Saturday 28 19 50 17 9 14 6 24 7 20
Total 144 286 63 25 35

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Figure 11: Day of week assault offences, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Figure 11: Day of week assault offences, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Experience of robbery

Robbery is defined by the ABS as the unlawful taking of property, without consent, accompanied by force or threat of force. In this study, episodes of robbery were identified for any offence recorded within subdivision 06 (0611 and 0612) of ASOC (ABS 2008b).

While persons or organisations can be the victims of robbery, this analysis for international students was focused on persons (not organisations); therefore, the rates of robbery are calculated based on the number of incidents for which an individual was the victim of robbery. This may mean that the difference in rates of robbery between international students and the state averages may actually be larger than those presented in this report. A summary of jurisdictional findings for 2009 is provided in Table 12.

As an overall national summary:

  • New South Wales—Rates of robbery among most student groups were on par with the relevant weighted state average in 2009; these findings were generally consistent across the five years between 2005 and 2009. However, the rate of robbery among Indian students (both males and females), was significantly higher than the state average over this period.

For Indian male students, the rate of robbery was significantly higher than for all other male students. For Indian females, the rate of robbery was significantly higher than for their counterparts from China and the United States.

  • Victoria—Rates of robbery among most student groups were on par with the relevant weighted state average in 2009 and for the preceding four years. The exceptions were for male students from India where the rate of robbery was significantly higher and for male Chinese students whose rate of robbery was significantly lower than the state average in 2009. The male Indian student rate was also significantly higher than the rate for Chinese, Korean and Malaysian students. The rate of robbery among female students in Victoria was similar across populations in 2009 and the prior four years.
  • Queensland—Rates of robbery among male students from the Republic of Korea, Malaysia and the United States were on par with the relevant weighted state average in 2009 and for the prior four years. However, for Chinese (in 2009 and in 1 other year) and Indian male students (in 2009 and in 1 other year), the rate of robbery was significantly higher than for the population average. For all female student populations, rates of robbery in 2009 were on par with the state average. There were no significant differences between Indian (both male and female) students and students from the other four countries.
  • South Australia—Rates of robbery among male students from China, Korea, Malaysia and the United States were not statistically different from the relevant weighted state averages in 2009 and for the four years prior. However, for male students from India (in 2009 and in two other years), the rate of robbery was higher than for the state average in those years. For all female students, rates of robbery between 2005 and 2009 were not statistically different from the relevant state averages. There were also no statistically significant differences between Indian (male and female) students and students from other countries.
  • Western Australia—Rates of robbery among male students from most student groups were on par with the relevant weighted state average in 2009 and the other years. The exception was for male students from India where the rate of robbery was significantly higher than for the population average (in 2009 and 2 other years). For all female students, rates of robbery in 2009 and the other four years were on par with the state average. There were no significant differences between Indian (both male and female) students and students from the other four countries.
  • Tasmania—The small sample sizes limit comparative analysis in Tasmania; however, where differences exist, they were found among female students from India who had a higher rate of robbery than the state average in 2009, a rate that was significantly higher than their Chinese counterparts. No differences could be identified between the different student groups.
  • Australian Capital Territory—The small sample sizes limit comparative analysis in the Australian Capital Territory. No significant differences were found when comparing with the state average or between countries.
Table 12: National summary of robbery by gender nationality and state, 2009
Weighted state averageChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited StatesTrend (2005–09)
MaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMale FemaleMaleFemale

NSW

India ↑(5) ↑(3) ˜ ˜ ˜
China ˜ ˜ n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
Vic India ↑(5) ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China ↓(2) ˜ n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
Qld India ↑(2) ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China ↑(2) ˜ n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
SA India ↑(2) ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China ˜ ˜ n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
WA India ↑(3) ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China ˜ ˜ n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
Tas India ˜ ↑(1) ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China ˜ ˜ n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
ACT India ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China ˜ ˜ n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
United States ˜ ˜ n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜

↓Statistically lower

↑Statistically higher

˜ No statistical difference

(n) The figure in parentheses beside the arrows indicates the number of years for which the significant finding (decrease/increase) holds

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Location of robbery

The location, as recorded by the attending police officer, was extracted for each incident of robbery. When combined for all jurisdictions, it was found that for international students between 2005 and 2009, almost two in every three robberies (63%) occurred in an unspecified location on the street or in an open space (see Figure 12). A further 18 percent occurred at a commercial (retail) location, nine percent on or near public transport and four percent at a residential location. This profile of robbery is roughly consistent with the profile of robbery for the general population.

Only a few notable differences were evident between students from different countries (see Table 13). For example, Indian male students were more likely to have been the victim of robberies at a commercial (retail) location (24%) compared with Chinese (10%), Malaysian (4%), Korean (3%) and US (0%) students. Similarly, Indian male students were more likely to have been robbed on or around public transport facilities (12%) compared with Chinese (6%), Korean (6%), Malaysian (6%) or US (0%) students. Conversely, Indian students had proportionally fewer street/open space robberies compared with all other student groups.

Figure 12: Location of robbery offences, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Figure 12: Location of robbery offences, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Table 13: Location of recorded robberies by gender and nationality, all states, 2005–09
Males
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
n%n%n%n%n%
Street/open space 1,032 56 421 72 64 74 45 85 12 75
Residential 55 3 36 6 2 2 0 3 19
Commercial—Retail 447 24 61 10 3 3 2 4 0
Commercial—Hospitality/ entertainment 31 2 11 2 4 5 1 2 0
Commercial—Financial services 0 3 1 1 1 0 0
Commercial—Other 12 1 2 0 1 2 0
Public transport 213 12 37 6 5 6 3 6 0
Educational 8 7 1 1 1 1 2 0
Other 38 2 10 2 6 7 0 1 6
Total 1,836 588 86 53 16
Females
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
n%n%n%n%n%
Street/open space 59 67 220 72 38 81 14 61 13 81
Residential 2 2 22 7 3 6 4 17 1 6
Commercial—Retail 12 14 29 10 1 2 1 4 0
Commercial—Hospitality/ entertainment 3 3 6 2 2 4 0 0
Commercial—Financial services 0 1 0 0 0
Commercial—Other 4 5 3 1 0 0 0
Public transport 4 5 18 6 1 2 4 17 0
Educational 0 2 1 2 4 0 1 6
Other 4 5 4 1 0 0 1 6
Total 88 305 47 23 16

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Table 14: Location of commercial (retail) robberies by nationality, all states, 2005–09
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
n%n%n%n%n%
Convenience store (24hr) 54 12 15 17 0 0 0
Service/petrol station 285 62 11 12 0 0 0
Shopping centre/complex 9 2 3 3 1 25 0 0
Shop/store 55 12 35 39 3 75 2 67 0
Other retail 54 12 25 28 0 1 33 0
Total 457 89 4 3 0

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Location of commercial (retail) robberies

A breakdown of the specific locations classified under the commercial (retail) category revealed substantial differences between the student groups and Indian and Chinese students in particular (see Table 14). For almost two in every three (62%) Indian students who had been robbed at a commercial (retail) location (16% of all Indian student robbery victims), the incident took place at a service or petrol station. By comparison, only 12 percent of Chinese students who were robbed at a commercial location were robbed at a service or petrol station; Chinese students were more likely than Indian students to have been robbed at a shop or store (39% cf 12%) and slightly more likely to have been robbed at a 24 hour convenience store (17% cf 12%).

Temporal pattern of robbery

On examining the temporal factors for the robbery of international students, patterns were consistent with what is known of robbery generally; most robberies occurred in the late evenings and early mornings. Overall, for all international students who were robbed between 2005 and 2009, most were robbed in the evening hours between 8 pm and midnight (47%) and midnight and 4 am (23%; see Figure 13 and Table 15). Relatively few robberies occurred during the daytime hours between 8 am and 4 pm (9%) and the distribution of robberies across the week was relatively even, if not slightly skewed towards the weekend (see Figure 14).

There were only a few notable differences between countries:

  • Although the number of incidents was low, male students from the United States were disproportionately more likely to be robbed between midnight and 4 am (67%), and 4 am and 8 am (13%). This was more than double that recorded for Indian (27%), Korean (23%), Chinese (21%) and Malaysian students (21%).
  • Female students generally experienced more robberies during the daytime than male students.

There was no notable difference between students from different countries in the distribution of incidents across the week, although male students from the Republic of Korea were disproportionately more likely to be robbed on Mondays compared with other student groups (see Table 16).

As was the case for assault, the lack of differences identified between students groups for the temporal factors was expected, given that robbery is primarily an opportunistic crime which is not traditionally racially motivated. These findings were also largely consistent with the hypothesis that occupation and vulnerability on public transport are factors affecting the risk of experiencing crime.

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 such crimes 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.

The ABS was unable to provide age and gender breakdowns for other theft data from Recorded Crime Victims. Thus, although comparisons with state populations suggest that in a small number of cases Indian students had higher rates of other theft, these comparisons are not reliable and are only provided to give some context against which the student rates of other theft may be considered. It is important to exercise caution when interpreting the results.

A summary of jurisdictional findings for 2009 is provided in Table 17. As an overall national summary:

  • New South Wales—There were few differences in the rate of other theft between the student groups (both male and female). The exception was for male students from India who had a significantly higher rate of other theft than did male students from the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Korea.
  • Victoria—There were few differences in the rate of other theft between the student groups (both male and female) in Victoria. The exception was for male students from India who had a significantly higher rate of other theft in 2009 than did male students from the People's Republic of China and Malaysia.
  • Queensland—There were no differences in the rate of other theft between the student groups for females studying in Queensland in 2009; however, Indian males had significantly higher rates of other theft than male students from each of the four remaining countries.
  • South Australia—There were no differences found in the rate of other theft between the student groups for females studying in South Australia in 2009. Indian males had higher rates of other theft when compared with male students from the People's Republic of China and Malaysia, but not when compared with the United States or Korea.
  • Western Australia—There were few differences in the rate of other theft between the student groups in Western Australia in 2009, although there were exceptions in both the Chinese and Indian student groups. Indian male students had a significantly higher rate of other theft than did male students from Malaysia, Indian female students had a significantly higher rate of other theft than was found among their Chinese counterparts and Chinese females had a significantly higher rate than did female students from Malaysia.
  • Tasmania—The small sample sizes limited comparative analysis in Tasmania. No significant differences were found when comparing with the state average or between countries.
  • Australian Capital Territory—The small sample sizes limited comparative analysis in the Australian Capital Territory. No significant differences were found when comparing with the state average or between countries.

Summary

In essence, Indian and other international students are no more likely than Australian reference populations to be the victim of assault or other theft—in fact, it was found that international students were often less likely to be the victim of these crimes. However, international students were found to be more likely to be the victim of personal robbery. Specifically, of the five international student populations, Indian students were significantly more likely to be the victims of robbery.

It is the case that young males are disproportionately represented as both offenders and victims of crime (Richards 2009). Among the international student populations, it was apparent that Indian students were more likely to be young and male. However, even after controlling for the higher proportion of young males in the Indian student population, Indian students continued to be significantly more likely to be the victims of robbery compared with other international students and the Australian reference populations. Such an effect may be explained, in part, by the nature of the work undertaken by Indian students. Indian students are more likely than students from east Asian countries to find employment in the service sector (often in service stations, convenience stores and as taxi drivers) due to their greater proficiency in English. These roles usually involve working late night shifts alone and come with an increased risk of crime, either at the workplace or while travelling to and from work.

Other factors such as the areas in which students reside and their greater reliance on public transport have also been identified in the literature as leading to increased vulnerability and are likely to underpin some of the findings for rates of crime against international students.

Table 15: Time of day of robberies by gender and nationality, all states, 2005–09
Males
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
n%n%n%n%n%
Midnight–4 am 493 27 124 21 20 23 11 21 10 67
4 am–8 am 151 8 34 6 6 7 1 2 2 13
8 am–noon 58 3 18 3 6 7 3 6 0
Noon–4 pm 82 4 41 7 1 1 4 8 0
4 pm–8 pm 197 11 83 14 11 13 8 15 0
8 pm–midnight 855 47 288 49 42 49 26 49 3 20
Total 1,836 588 86 53 15
Females
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
n%n%n%n%n%
Midnight–4 am 13 15 24 8 7 15 0 11 69
4 am–8 am 4 5 9 3 2 4 2 12 0
8 am–noon 5 6 13 4 5 10 3 12 0
Noon–4 pm 9 10 24 8 2 4 5 20 0
4 pm–8 pm 22 25 77 25 12 25 8 36 1 6
8 pm–midnight 35 40 158 52 20 42 4 20 4 25
Total 88 305 48 22 16

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Figure 13: Time of day of robbery offences, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Figure 13: Time of day of robbery offences, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Figure 14: Day of week of robbery offences, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Figure 14: Day of week of robbery offences, all states, 2005–09 (%)

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Table 16: Day of week of robberies by gender and nationality, all states, 2005–09
Males
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
n%n%n%n%n%
Sunday 314 17 95 16 7 8 9 17 5 31
Monday 262 14 75 13 17 20 6 11 1 6
Tuesday 253 14 89 15 12 14 8 15 0
Wednesday 231 13 77 13 15 17 7 13 2 13
Thursday 201 11 71 12 7 8 7 13 1 6
Friday 254 14 84 15 13 15 6 11 3 19
Saturday 322 18 104 17 15 17 10 19 4 25
Total 1,837 600 86 53 16
Females
IndiaChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
n%n%n%n%n%
Sunday 15 17 50 16 10 20 5 25 5 31
Monday 13 15 44 14 4 8 5 25 0
Tuesday 13 15 46 15 6 12 1 5 1 6
Wednesday 4 5 33 11 4 8 2 10 3 19
Thursday 18 20 33 11 7 14 0 2 13
Friday 9 10 42 14 10 20 2 10 2 13
Saturday 16 18 57 19 9 18 5 25 3 19
Total 88 305 50 20 16

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100 due to rounding

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]

Table 17: National summary of other theft by gender, nationality and state, 2009
ChinaKoreaMalaysiaUnited States
MaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemaleMaleFemale
NSW India ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
United States n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Vic India ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
United States n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Qld India ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
United States n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
SA India ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
United States n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
WA India ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
United States n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Tas India ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
United States n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
ACT India ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
China n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Korea n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Malaysia n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a ˜ ˜
United States n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

↓Statistically lower

↑Statistically higher

˜ No statistical difference

(n) The figure in parentheses beside the arrows indicates the number of years for which the significant finding (decrease/increase) holds

Source: AIC, International Student Victims of Crime 2010 [computer file]