Decline in rates of crime victimisation

Crime victimisation surveys provide an important complement to crime statistics collected by police and courts. Key results from the Australian component of the 2004 International Crime Victimisation Survey (ICVS) show that 52 per cent of Australians had experienced at least one incident of crime in the five years prior to the survey, a drop from 55 per cent reported in the previous ICVS in 2000. Seventeen per cent of Australians were victims of crime in the preceding 12 months, down from 24 per cent in 2000. Comparing rates of victimisation within the preceding 12 months over the two time periods, all crimes with the exception of robbery and motorcycle theft declined in 2004, and those two remained stable. Declines were statistically significant for personal theft (without violence), burglary and theft of property from motor vehicles. This downward trend is consistent with recent trends in police-recorded crime in Australia and with patterns shown in crime victimisation surveys overseas. Fear of crime levels have also improved since 2000: 64 per cent of Australians reported feeling safe while walking alone in their area after dark in 2000 compared with 72 per cent in 2004.

Percentage of the population experiencing victimisation in the previous 12 months, 2000 and 2004 [see attached PDF for graph]


  • 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.