Crime in Australia

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The country Australia is a generally safe place with low rates of crime Statistics show that the homicide rate has actually decreased in almost every state since 2002.[1] Crime statistics are monitored by the Australian Institute of Criminology and the Australian Bureau of Statistics provide comparative breakdowns for different types of crimes.[2] State police and justice departments also compile information on the patterns of regional crime. It may be difficult to compare crime rates between Australian states due to differences in methodology and classification. The low rate of crime per capita is well established in international statistics[3]

Crime statistics[edit]

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that during the 2009/10 year police took action against 375,259 people,[4] up by 4.8 percent from 2008/09 figures.[4] Young offenders aged 10 to 19 comprised about 29 percent of the total offender population across Australia.[4] In the 2009/10 financial year, 84,100 women had police action taken against them across Australia, up by six percent compared with the previous year.[4] 290,400 men had police action taken against them in 2009/10, an annual increase of 4 percent.[4] About 30 percent of the women were accused of theft, whereas the most common principal offence for men was intention to cause injury and matters related to public order.[4] Research from the Australian Institute of Criminology, shows that from 1990 until the middle of 2011, 40 percent of people who were fatally shot by police were suffering from a mental illness. In NSW, the fatalities included Adam Salter (shot dead in Sydney in 2009); Elijah Holcombe (shot dead in Armidale in 2009); and Roni Levi (shot dead on Bondi Beach in 1997). In Victoria, the fatalities included the 2008 highly controversial shooting death of Tyler Cassidy. At age 15, Cassidy is believed to be the youngest person ever shot dead by police in Australia.[5] As of 2010, the homicide rate of Australia is 1.2 per 100,000.[6]

2013 - 2014[edit]

Between 2013 and 2014, in Australia, the number of victims for the majority of offence categories decreased:[7]

  • Homicide (decrease of 3.0% or 13 victims);
  • Kidnapping/abduction (decrease of 7.7% or 46 victims);
  • Robbery (decrease of 16% or 1,825 victims);
  • Unlawful entry with intent (decrease of 6.5% or 12,650 victims);
  • Motor vehicle theft (decrease of 4.4% or 2,322 victims);
  • Other theft (decrease of 1.7% or 8,324 victims).

In contrast, there was an increase between 2013 and 2014 in the number of victims for the following offences:[7]

  • Sexual assault (increase of 3.3% or 652 victims);
  • Blackmail/extortion (increase of 3.5% or 18 victims)

Murder[edit]

There were 238 reported murder victims in Australia during 2014, compared to 245 in 2013.[8]

In Australia during 2014:

  • The murder victimisation rate fell to a five year low of 1.0 victim per 100,000 persons;
  • Nearly two in three victims of murder (61% or 146 victims) were male;
  • The proportion of murder victims was largest for males aged between 35 and 44 years (16% or 38 victims) and males aged between 25 and 34 years (11% or 27 victims);
  • Two in three murders (66% or 158 victims) occurred at a residential location;
  • Of weapons used in murder, a knife was the most common (44% or 69 victims); and
  • Over three-quarters (77%) of all murder investigations (184 victims) were finalised by police within 30 days.

Attempted murder[edit]

The number of attempted murder victims in Australia decreased from 164 in 2013 to a five year low of 151 in 2014.[8]

In Australia during 2014:

  • The attempted murder victimisation rate dropped slightly to 0.6 victims per 100,000 persons, compared with 0.7 victims per 100,000 persons in 2013;
  • About two in three victims of attempted murder (68% or 102 victims) were male;
  • Males aged between 35 and 44 years accounted for the largest proportion of attempted murder victims (19% or 29 victims);
  • Nearly two in three attempted murders (62% or 93 victims) occurred at a residential location;
  • Of weapons used in attempted murder, the most common were a firearm (38% or 42 victims) and a knife (36% or 40 victims); and
  • 74% of all attempted murder investigations (111 victims) were finalised by police within 30 days.

Manslaughter[edit]

There were 24 manslaughter victims in Australia in 2014, compared to 23 in 2013.[8]

In Australia during 2014:

  • The manslaughter victimisation rate was 0.1 victims per 100,000 persons for the second consecutive year; and
  • 71% of all manslaughter investigations (17 victims) were finalised by police within 30 days.

Sexual assault[edit]

There was a 3.3% increase in the number of sexual assault victims in Australia, from 20,025 in 2013 to a five year high of 20,677 in 2014.[9]

In Australia during 2014:

  • The sexual assault victimisation rate increased to a five year high of 88 victims per 100,000 persons;
  • The majority of sexual assault victims (83% or 17,072 victims) were female;
  • Persons aged 19 years and under accounted for 60% (12,446 victims) of all victims of sexual assault;
  • Over a quarter (29% or 1,014 victims) of male sexual assault victims were aged 0–9 years;
  • Over two-thirds (68% or 14,105 victims) of sexual assaults occurred at a residential location; and
  • 41% of all sexual assault investigations (8,507 victims) were finalised by police within 30 days

Kidnapping and abduction[edit]

There was a 7.7% decrease in the number of kidnapping/abduction victims in Australia, from 596 in 2013 to a five year low of 550 in 2014.[10]

In Australia during 2014:

  • The kidnapping/abduction victimisation rate decreased to a five year low of 2.3 victims per 100,000 persons;
  • The decrease in the number of kidnapping/abduction victims was largest for persons aged between 10 and 14 years (down 47% or 51 victims from 2013);
  • Females accounted for a slightly larger proportion of all kidnapping/abduction victims (57% or 315 victims);
  • Private dwellings were the most common location for kidnapping/abduction to occur (39% or 214 victims); and
  • Just over half (51%) of all kidnapping/abduction investigations (280 victims) were finalised by police within 30 days.

Robbery[edit]

There was a 16% decrease in the number of robbery victims (both person and non-person victims) in Australia, from 11,711 in 2013 to a five year low of 9,886 in 2014.[11]

In Australia during 2014:

  • Street/footpath was the most common location for robbery to occur (37% or 3,707 victims);
  • Of weapons used in robbery, a knife was the most common (48% or 2,312 victims); and
  • 38% of all robbery investigations (3,726 victims) were finalised by police within 30 days.

Of total robbery victims, 82% (8,130 victims) were persons, and of these:

  • 72% (5,864 victims) were male; and
  • Persons aged between 25 and 34 years accounted for the largest proportion (24% or 1,932 victims).

Armed robbery[edit]

There was a 14% decrease in the number of armed robbery victims (both person and non-person victims) in Australia, from 5,631 in 2013 to a five year low of 4,855 in 2014. Of total armed robbery victims, 72% (3,505 victims) were persons, and of these:[11]

  • Just over three in four victims (76% or 2,679 victims) were male; and
  • Persons aged between 25 and 34 years accounted for the largest proportion of armed robbery victims (26% or 896 victims).

Unarmed robbery[edit]

There was a 17% decrease in the number of unarmed robbery victims (both person and non-person victims) in Australia, from 6,076 in 2013 to a five year low of 5,033 in 2014. Of total unarmed robbery victims, 92% (4,627 victims) were persons, and of these:[11]

  • Just over two in three victims (69% or 3,187 victims) were male; and
  • Persons aged 25 to 34 years of age accounted for the largest proportion of unarmed robbery victims (22% or 1,033 victims).

Blackmail and extortion[edit]

There was a 3.5% increase in the number of blackmail/extortion victims (both person and non-person victims) in Australia, from 509 in 2013 to a five year high of 527 in 2014. During 2014, 40% of all blackmail/extortion investigations (211 victims) were finalised by police within 30 days.[12]

Of total blackmail/extortion victims in 2014, 93% (492 victims) were persons, and of these:

  • Nearly three-quarters of victims (73% or 361) were male; and
  • Persons aged 25 to 34 years accounted for the largest proportion of blackmail/extortion victims (24% or 119 victims).

Unlawful entry with intent[edit]

There was a 6.5% decrease in the number of victims of unlawful entry with intent in Australia, from 194,529 in 2013 to a five year low of 181,879 in 2014.[13]

In Australia during 2014:

  • The most common location for unlawful entry with intent to occur was a residential location (71% or 129,941 victims);
  • Nearly seven in ten victims of unlawful entry with intent had property taken (68% or 122,952 victims); and
  • 11% of all unlawful entry with intent investigations (20,051 victims) were finalised by police within 30 days.

Motor vehicle theft[edit]

There was a 4.4% decrease in the number of victims of motor vehicle theft in Australia, from 52,508 in 2013 to a five year low of 50,186 in 2014.[14]

In Australia during 2014:

  • The most common location in which motor vehicle theft occurred was an outbuilding or residential land (46% or 22,872 victims); and
  • 17% of all motor vehicle theft investigations (8,594 victims) were finalised by police within 30 days.

Other theft[edit]

There was a 1.7% decrease in the number of victims of other theft in Australia, from 493,540 in 2013 to 485,216 in 2014.  [15]

In Australia during 2014:

  • The most common location for other theft to occur was a retail location (33% or 159,349 victims); and
  • 36% of all other theft investigations (175,271 victims) were finalised by police within 30 days.

Crime by State[edit]

Australian Capital Territory[edit]

New South Wales[edit]

Northern Territory[edit]

Queensland[edit]

Main article: Crime in Queensland

South Australia[edit]

Tasmania[edit]

Main article: Crime in Tasmania

Victoria[edit]

Main article: Crime in Victoria
Crime in Victoria from 2010 to 2014.[16]
Type of crime 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Homicide and related

offences

99 96 89 82 106
Murder 47 53 45 46 58
Attempted murder 49 34 32 30 36
Manslaughter 3 9 17 8 8
Sexual assault 3,629 4,021 4,149 3,920 4,169
Kidnapping/abduction 116 108 120 138 122
Robbery 3,015 3,299 2,975 2,605 2,286
Armed robbery 1,438 1,639 1,529 1,365 1,142
Unarmed robbery 1,574 1,659 1,451 1,237 1,147
Blackmail/extortion 137 119 145 173 154
Unlawful entry with intent 44,410 43,747 47,461 44,915 44,457
Involving the taking of

property

31,232 30,987 33,360 31,362 30,446
Other 13,184 12,755 14,099 13,547 14,012
Motor vehicle theft 12,271 12,322 13,593 12,051 13,227
Other theft 111,633 110,384 115,008 110,568 111,274

Western Australia[edit]

History[edit]

Convicts[edit]

Main article: Convicts in Australia

During the late 18th and 19th centuries, large numbers of convicts were transported to the various Australian penal colonies by the British government.[17] One of the primary reasons for the British settlement of Australia was the establishment of a penal colony to alleviate pressure on their overburdened correctional facilities. Over the 80 years more than 165,000 convicts were transported to Australia.[18] Discipline was poor among the early convicts, with high rates of theft, physical and sexual assault. Law enforcement was initially the preserve of the New South Wales Marine Corps, which accompanied the First Fleet. Australia's first civilian crime prevention force was established in August 1789, comprising a twelve-man night watch authorised to patrol the settlement at Sydney Cove and with powers "for the apprehending and securing for examination" anyone suspected of "felony, trespass or misdemeanour."[19]

Bushrangers of Australia[edit]

Main article: Bushranger

Bushrangers were criminals who used the Australian bush as a refuge to hide from authorities between committing their robberies, roughly analogous to the British "highwayman" and American "Old West outlaws". Their targets often included small-town banks or coach services. The term "bushranger" evolved to refer to those who abandoned social rights and privileges to take up "robbery under arms" as a way of life, using the bush as their base.

Riots in Australia[edit]

See also - Civil disturbances in Western Australia

Law enforcement in Australia[edit]

Law enforcement in Australia is served by police, sheriffs and bailiffs under the control of state, territory and the Federal governments. A number of state, territory and federal agencies also administer a wide variety of legislation related to white-collar crime. The Police are responsible for the criminal law. The sheriff and bailiffs in each state and territory are responsible for the enforcement of the judgments of the courts exercising civil law (common law) jurisdictions. It is a common misconception that in Australia there are two distinct levels of police forces, the various state police forces and then overriding that, the Australian Federal Police (AFP). In actuality, the various state police forces are responsible for enforcing state law within their own states while the AFP are responsible for the enforcement of and investigation of crimes against Commonwealth law which applies across the whole country.

Civic organisations[edit]

Punishment[edit]

Major crimes in Australia[edit]

Australian crime related books and media[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dearden, Jack; Jones, Warwick. Homicide in Australia: 2006-07 National Homicide Monitoring Program annual report (PDF) (Report). Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. p. 113. 
  2. ^ Australian Institute of Criminology
  3. ^ "Global Study on Homicide 2011" (PDF). UNODC. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f La Canna, Xavier (24 February 2011). "Women increasingly target of police action". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  5. ^ Quentin McDermott (March 5, 2012). "Shooting deaths spark call for mental health overhaul". ABC News. 
  6. ^ Recorded Crime-Victims (PDF) (Report). Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics. 
  7. ^ a b "Victims of crime, Australia". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c "Homicide and related ofences". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2015. 
  9. ^ "Sexual assault". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2015. 
  10. ^ "Australian Bureau of Statistics - KIDNAPPING AND ABDUCTION". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c "Australian Bureau of Statistics - Robbery". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2015. 
  12. ^ "Australian Bureau of Statistics - Blackmail and Extortion". Retrieved 2015. 
  13. ^ "Australian Bureau of Statistics - Unlawful Entry". 
  14. ^ "Australian Bureau of Statistics - Motor vehicle teft recorded crime". 
  15. ^ "Australian Bureau of Statistics - Other theft". 
  16. ^ "Australian Bureau of Statistics". Retrieved 2015. 
  17. ^ Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2002. ISBN 0-19-860575-7. convictism noun (Hist.) the system of penal settlements for convicts; the body of convicts so transported M19 
  18. ^ Convict Records, Ancestry.co.uk
  19. ^ Governor Arthur Phillip and Advocate-General David Collins, Regulations for the night-watch, 7 August 1789. Cited in Cobley, John (1963). Sydney Cove: 1789-1790. Angus & Robertson. p. 77. ISBN 0207141711. 

External links[edit]