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4530.0 - Crime Victimisation, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/02/2013   
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Contents >> Perceptions of and Contact with the Justice System >> Contact with the Justice System

CONTACT WITH THE JUSTICE SYSTEM

Of the 17.2 million Australians aged 18 years and over (Endnote 1) represented by the 2011-12 Crime Victimisation Survey, the following were estimated to have had contact with the criminal justice system in the 12 months prior to interview.

    9.3 million people had contact with the state or territory police.
    792,700 people had contact with the criminal courts
    402,300 people had contact with the prisons.

People were more likely to have had contact with the police (54%) than the criminal courts (4.6%) or prisons (2.3%).

Males aged 18 years and over were more likely than females to have had contact with the police (59% and 50% respectively) and the criminal courts (5.2% and 4.1% respectively). There were no statistically significant differences between the sexes for prisons, where 2.5% of males had contact and 2.2% of females.

People aged 20 to 24 years were more likely to have contact in the 12 months prior to interview with all three institutions of the justice system than the national average in 2011–12. Of people aged 20 to 24 years, 62% had contact with the police (compared with 55% of the total population), 6.7% had contact with the criminal courts (compared with 4.6% of the total population) and 3.4% had contact with the prisons (compared with 2.3% of the total population).

People aged 65 years and over were less likely to have contact with all three institutions of the justice system in the last 12 months than the national average in 2011–12. Of people in this age group, 36% had contact with the police (compared with 55% of the total population), 1.7% had contact with the criminal courts (compared with 4.6% of the total population) and 1.0% had contact with the prisons (compared with 2.3% of the total population).

TYPE OF CONTACT
Respondents in the survey were asked to identify the types of contact they had with the justice system in the 12 months prior to interview (Endnote 2). People may have had more than one type of contact with each institution.

Of those who had contact with police, an estimated 5.1 million had contact due to a random breath test. This was greater than those who had contact through being a victim of crime, reporting a crime or calling for assistance or information (3.0 million), a traffic infringement or being arrested or suspected of a crime (2.1 million), working for or knowing someone who works for the police (3.3 million) or any other type of contact (539,200).

Of those who had contact with the criminal courts, people were more likely to have had contact as a victim, accused or witness (289,200) than as a juror (183,200), through their employment (186,900), as an observer (126,400) or another type of contact (35,700).

Of those who had contact with the prisons, people were more likely to have contact through being a visitor (145,500) or an allied worker or volunteer (137,400) than a member of staff (42,600) or through another type of contact (including as prisoners) (86,400).

Endnote

1. While this question was asked of all respondents aged 15 years and over, data has only been published for those 18 years and over. The responses of respondents aged 15 to 17 years may have been provided by a proxy respondent (such as a parent) and as this is a perception based question it was not asked of proxies.
2. Type of contact is based on subjective identification of the categories and data should not be compared to other sources. Refer to the Explanatory Notes (paragraph 47) for more detail.

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