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4510.0 - Recorded Crime, Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/05/2003   
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MAIN FINDINGS

The offence categories with the largest number of victims recorded by Australian police during 2002 were other theft (679,460), unlawful entry with intent (394,374) and assault (159,548). The number of victims decreased between 2001 and 2002 across most offence categories (see graph below). This was particularly the case for offences involving the taking of property. Victims of robbery decreased by 21%-with armed robbery reducing by 30%, motor vehicle theft decreased by 19%, unlawful entry with intent decreased by 9% and other theft decreased by 3%. Other offence categories to record a decrease included homicide and related offences (9%), kidnapping/abduction (9%) and blackmail/extortion (3%).

VICTIMS(a), Change in number from 2001 to 2002
Graph - VICTIMS(a), Change in number from 2001 to 2002
(a) The definition of a victim varies according to the category of the offence.


The largest numerical decreases across offence categories between 2001 and 2002 were for victims of unlawful entry with intent (down 41,380), motor vehicle theft (26,505) and other theft (20,677).

In 2002, the victimisation rate (number of victims per 100,000 population) for unlawful entry with intent (2001 per 100,000 population) and motor vehicle theft (575 per 100,000 population) were the lowest since the commencement of the national Recorded Crime collection in 1993, while the robbery victimisation rate (106 per 100,000 population) was the lowest since 1995.

The offence categories, for which there were increases between 2001 and 2002 in numbers of incidents recorded, included sexual assault (6%) and assault (5%). Manslaughter (29%) and murder (2%) also increased, but a 21% decrease in the number of victims of driving causing death and a 14% decrease in attempted murders resulted in an overall decrease in victims for the homicide and related offences category.

The assault victimisation rate increased by 44% from 563 to 810 per 100,000 population between 1995 and 2002. Assault was the only offence category to show a consistently increasing trend in the rate of victimisation over this period. The sexual assault victimisation rate increased from 69 to 91 per 100,000 population between 1993 and 2002 and was at its highest level since the commencement of the collection in 1993. In contrast, murder, attempted murder and manslaughter victimisation rates remained fairly stable over this period and were 2 per 100,000 population, 2 per 100,000 population and less than 1 per 100,000 population respectively in 2002.


VICTIM CHARACTERISTICS

Sex of Victim

Males were more likely than females to be victims, for which a report to police was recorded, of robbery (70% of victims were male), blackmail/extortion (69%), attempted murder (66%), driving causing death (62%), murder (60%) and assault (57%). Females were more likely to be the victims of sexual assault (80%) and kidnapping/abduction (62%).


Age of victim

Persons aged 24 years or less comprised the majority of recorded victims of sexual assault (72% were aged 24 years or less), kidnapping/abduction (64%) and robbery (51%), while they comprised less than 1 in 4 victims of blackmail/extortion (23%) and murder (24%).

Children aged 10-14 years and persons aged 15-19 years were 3 times more likely to be recorded as a victim of sexual assault than the total population. Persons aged 15-19 were also 3 times more likely to be a victim of kidnapping/abduction and robbery than the general population. Persons aged 20-24 had the highest assault victimisation rate of 1,729 per 100,000 population, which is over twice the recorded victimisation rate of the total population (810 per 100,000 population).


LOCATION OF OFFENCE

For murder, attempted murder, assault and sexual assault, the victim was most likely to have been subjected to the offence in a residential location. This was especially the case for victims of sexual assault where more than 2 in 3 victims were sexually assaulted in a residential location. More than 3 in 5 victims of kidnapping/abduction were taken from a street or other community location, with about 1 in 5 taken from a residence.

For unlawful entry with intent, the location was most likely to be a residential dwelling (65%), while for robbery and motor vehicle theft, approximately 4 in 10 victims were subjected to an offence on the street/footpath. For those offences which occurred in a community location, a street/footpath was the most frequent location for each offence type, with the exception of sexual assault and unlawful entry with intent.


WEAPON USE

A weapon was most likely to have been used in an attempted murder (75%) and murder (53%), and least likely in sexual assault (2%). With the exception of assault, a knife was the most common type of weapon used and was involved in 35% of attempted murders, 23% of murders and 19% of robberies. A firearm was involved in 22% of attempted murders, 13% of murders and 6% of robberies. The largest number of victims where a syringe was used as a weapon was for the offences of robbery (350 victims ) and assault (161 victims).

Between 1993 and 2002 the proportion of murders, attempted murders and robberies involving the use of a weapon decreased, while the proportion of kidnapping/abduction offences involving the use of a weapon nearly doubled from 10% in 1993 to 19% in 2002. The proportion of murders involving the use of a weapon peaked in 1996 at 78% while the proportion of attempted murders involving the use of a weapon peaked in 1997 at 87%.
The proportion of robberies where a weapon was used has fluctuated from 36% in 1994 and 1995 to 46% in 1998. Since 1998, this proportion has declined to 37%. For those robberies that involved the use of a weapon, the proportion of offences involving firearms decreased from 37% in 1993 to 15% in 2002.


OUTCOME OF INVESTIGATION

At 30 days after an offence became known to police in 2002, over half of the investigations into attempted murder (63%), murder (60%), manslaughter (58%) and assault (58%) had been finalised. The offences with the lowest proportion of finalisations at 30 days were unlawful entry with intent (7%), motor vehicle theft (11%), other theft (14%) and robbery (21%).

Of those investigations finalised, police were most likely to have proceeded against an offender at 30 days for homicide and related offences: driving causing death (100%), attempted murder (89%), murder (88%), and manslaughter (81%). Offences involving other theft (not including motor vehicle thefts) and unlawful entry with intent had a low proportion of finalisations at 30 days, but of those that were finalised, a high proportion were proceeded against by police (85% and 80% respectively). The offence categories which had the highest proportion of investigations finalised where there was no offender proceeded against included sexual assault (49%) and kidnapping/abduction (34%)
TABLE 1 VICTIMS(a), By Offence Category-2002

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.

NUMBER

Homicide and related offences
338
181
232
81
89
11
26
5
963
Murder
98
70
57
29
40
7
15
2
318
Attempted murder
147
52
126
39
20
3
8
1
396
Manslaughter
13
4
18
-
6
1
3
-
45
Driving causing death
80
55
31
13
23
-
-
2
204
Assault
80,028
17,894
20,865
16,540
15,282
3,633
3,322
1,984
159,548
Sexual assault
6,480
2,653
4,740
1,625
1,620
240
312
180
17,850
Kidnapping/abduction
436
96
75
31
36
8
4
10
696
Robbery
11,704
3,176
2,047
1,623
1,969
136
95
211
20,961
Armed Robbery
3,815
1,573
879
521
910
51
32
36
7,817
Unarmed Robbery
7,889
1,603
1,168
1,102
1,059
85
63
175
13,144
Blackmail/extortion
82
115
54
61
31
-
1
-
344
Unlawful entry with intent
141,170
71,039
68,267
33,054
61,474
7,411
5,615
6,344
394,374
UEWI-Involving the taking of property
109,309
53,579
51,639
21,773
41,693
5,838
3,526
5,412
292,769
UEWI-Other
31,861
17,460
16,628
11,281
19,781
1,573
2,089
932
101,605
Motor vehicle theft
41,665
28,891
15,842
11,214
10,487
2,488
(b)763
2,039
113,389
Other theft
211,908
142,025
116,781
79,185
98,252
13,033
(b)8,106
10,170
679,460

RATE PER 100,000 PERSONS

Homicide and related offences
5.1
3.7
6.3
5.3
4.6
2.3
13.0
1.5
4.9
Murder
1.5
1.4
1.5
1.9
2.1
1.5
7.5
np
1.6
Attempted murder
2.2
1.1
3.4
2.6
1.0
0.6
4.0
np
2.0
Manslaughter
0.2
0.1
0.5
-
0.3
np
1.5
-
0.2
Driving causing death
1.2
1.1
0.8
0.9
1.2
-
-
np
1.0
Assault
1,200.9
366.4
562.6
1,086.6
792.1
767.0
1,660.1
613.1
809.7
Sexual assault
97.2
54.3
127.8
106.8
84.0
50.7
155.9
55.6
90.6
Kidnapping/abduction
6.5
2.0
2.0
2.0
1.9
1.7
2.0
3.1
3.5
Robbery
175.6
65.0
55.2
106.6
102.1
28.7
47.5
65.2
106.4
Armed Robbery
57.3
32.2
23.7
34.2
47.2
10.8
16.0
11.1
39.7
Unarmed Robbery
118.4
32.8
31.5
72.4
54.9
17.9
31.5
54.1
66.7
Blackmail/extortion
1.2
2.4
1.5
4.0
1.6
-
np
-
1.7
Unlawful entry with intent
2,118.5
1,454.7
1,840.7
2,171.4
3,186.4
1,564.7
2,806.0
1,960.5
2,001.4
UEWI-Involving the taking of property
1,640.4
1,097.2
1,392.4
1,430.3
2,161.1
1,232.6
1,762.1
1,672.5
1,485.8
UEWI-Other
478.1
357.5
448.3
741.1
1,025.3
332.1
1,043.9
288.0
515.6
Motor vehicle theft
625.2
591.6
427.2
736.7
543.6
525.3
(b)381.3
630.1
575.4
Other theft
3,180.0
2,908.4
3,148.8
5,201.9
5,092.7
2,751.7
(b)4,050.8
3,142.8
3,448.2

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells).
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated.
(a) The definition of a victim varies according to the category of the offence (see Glossary).
(b) Prior to 2002, Northern Territory police incorrectly included theft of motor vehicle parts and contents and theft n.e.c. in the count of motor vehicle theft (see Explanatory Note 48). These offences were correctly included in the other theft offence category.

TABLE 2 VICTIMS(a), By Offence Category-2002 compared with 2001(b)

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
ACT
Aust.

% CHANGE IN NUMBER

Homicide and related offences
-17.4
-4.2
-16.2
11.0
25.4
-50.0
23.8
150.0
-9.5
Murder
-4.9
7.7
-13.6
-
90.5
-12.5
-16.7
100.0
2.3
Attempted murder
-27.9
13.0
-19.2
62.5
17.6
-75.0
700.0
na
-13.9
Manslaughter
62.5
100.0
28.6
-
-
-50.0
50.0
-
28.6
Driving causing death
-14.9
-27.6
-24.4
-31.6
-14.8
-
-
100.0
-20.9
Assault
6.1
7.0
3.1
1.5
0.7
4.2
12.7
1.5
4.8
Sexual assault
3.4
1.6
16.0
3.0
-3.9
16.5
9.5
0.6
5.6
Kidnapping/abduction
-7.6
-17.9
-1.3
-13.9
-25.0
-27.3
-
233.3
-9.3
Robbery
-23.2
-30.1
-19.7
-3.5
-4.6
-28.8
30.1
-17.3
-21.2
Armed Robbery
-32.1
-39.7
-24.7
-16.2
-9.5
-38.6
-5.9
-63.3
-30.4
Unarmed Robbery
-18.0
-17.1
-15.5
4.1
-0.1
-21.3
61.5
11.5
-14.4
Blackmail/extortion
20.6
1.8
-39.3
10.9
14.8
na
na
na
-3.1
Unlawful entry with intent
-12.9
-12.4
-7.4
-5.7
-1.0
-19.9
-14.2
7.0
-9.5
UEWI-Involving the taking of property
-13.2
-14.8
-7.1
-2.7
-0.3
-20.5
-15.0
7.1
-10.0
UEWI-Other
-11.6
-4.1
-8.3
-11.0
-2.4
-17.9
-12.8
6.3
-8.1
Motor vehicle theft
-20.3
-26.6
-9.3
-11.4
-7.6
-28.2
(c)-18.7
-14.4
-18.9
Other theft
-7.7
-6.0
-
0.1
6.6
-2.4
(c)2.1
0.5
-3.0

% CHANGE IN RATE PER 100,000 PERSONS (d)

Homicide and related offences
-18.5
-5.8
-18.0
10.2
23.5
-50.2
22.4
146.7
-10.8
Murder
-6.3
6.0
-15.5
-0.8
87.7
-12.8
-17.6
97.4
0.7
Attempted murder
-28.8
11.2
-21.0
61.1
15.9
-75.1
690.6
na
-15.2
Manslaughter
62.6
96.8
25.8
na
-1.5
-50.2
48.2
-
26.7
Driving causing death
-16.0
-28.8
-26.0
-32.2
-16.1
-
-
97.4
-22.1
Assault
4.6
5.3
0.9
0.8
-0.8
3.8
11.4
0.1
3.2
Sexual assault
2.0
-
13.5
2.3
-5.3
16.1
8.2
-0.8
4.1
Kidnapping/abduction
-8.9
-19.3
-3.4
-14.4
-26.1
-27.6
-1.2
228.9
-10.6
Robbery
-24.2
-31.2
-21.5
-4.1
-6.0
-29.1
28.6
-18.3
-22.3
Armed Robbery
-33.0
-40.7
-26.4
-16.8
-10.8
-38.8
-7.0
-63.8
-31.4
Unarmed Robbery
-19.1
-18.4
-17.3
3.3
-1.5
-21.6
59.7
10.0
-15.7
Blackmail/extortion
19.5
0.1
-40.6
10.1
13.1
na
na
na
-4.5
Unlawful entry with intent
-14.0
-13.8
-9.4
-6.3
-2.4
-20.3
-15.2
5.5
-10.8
UEWI-Involving the taking of property
-14.4
-16.2
-9.1
-3.4
-1.8
-20.8
-16.0
5.7
-11.3
UEWI-Other
-12.8
-5.7
-10.3
-11.6
-3.8
-18.3
-13.9
4.9
-9.4
Motor vehicle theft
-21.4
-27.8
-11.3
-12.1
-8.9
-28.4
(c)-19.7
-15.6
-20.2
Other theft
-8.9
-7.5
-2.2
-0.6
5.1
-2.8
(c)0.9
-0.9
-4.4

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells).
na not available.
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated.
(a) The definition of a victim varies according to the category of the offence (see Glossary).
(b) Data and ERP for 2001 have been revised (see Explanatory Note 20).
(c) Prior to 2002, Northern Territory police incorrectly included theft of motor vehicle parts and contents and theft n.e.c. in the count of motor vehicle theft (see Explanatory Note 48). These offences were correctly included in the other theft offence category.
(d) Estimates of percentage change movements are obtained by taking the difference of unrounded rates. The movement is then rounded to one decimal place. Where a discrepancy occurs between the published percentage change and the difference in rounded rates, the published percentage change is more accurate.

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