Trends in rates of victimisation: household crime

The National Crime and Safety Survey was conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 1993, 1998, 2002 and 2005, as a mailback supplement to the April Labour Force Survey. According to the surveys, rates of household victimisation declined overall for break-in, attempted break-in, motor vehicle theft, and total household crime between 1993 and 2005. The percentage of households experiencing total household crime in the 12 months leading up to each survey increased from 8.3 percent in 1993 to 9.0 percent in 1998 and 8.9 percent in 2002, before dropping to 6.2 percent in 2005. The percentage of households experiencing break-in increased from 4.4 to 5.0 percent in 1998, before declining to 3.3 percent in 2005. The rate of attempted break-in peaked at 3.4 percent in 2002, decreasing to 2.6 percent in 2005. Motor vehicle theft declined from 1.7 percent of households in 1993 to 1.0 percent in 2005. These patterns reflect trends in crimes reported to police (ABS 2005), which also show a significant downward trend in rates of property crimes in recent years, after a period of increase peaking in 2000 and 2001. Results from the International Crime Victimisation Survey also show a drop in the prevalence of household crimes in Australia after the year 2000 (Johnson 2005).

Percentage of households experiencing selected crimes in the previous 12 months [see attached PDF for graph]


  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Crime and safety, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4509.0. Canberra: ABS


  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2005. Recorded crime, Australia 2004. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS
  • Johnson H 2005. Crime victimisation in Australia: key results of the 2004 International Crime Victimisation Survey. Research and public policy series no. 64. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology