Australian Institute of Criminology

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Robberies against service stations and pharmacies

Media Release

23 May 2002

Robberies at service stations and pharmacies increased by 214% and 65%, respectively, between 1993 and 2000, although robberies at both types of locations have declined since 1998. Further, the proportion of all robberies occurring at service stations has been increasing while the proportion of all robberies occurring at pharmacies has remained relatively stable since 1993.

These statistics are the focus of a paper released by the Australian Institute of Criminology today.

The paper draws data from the AIC's national crime survey of small businesses in Australia (Small Business Crime Survey) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics Recorded Crime statistics, provides an overview of recent trends in robbery and a comparison of risks between service stations, pharmacies and other types of targets in Australia.

According to Dr Adam Graycar, AIC Director, repeat victimisation is a key factor in understanding robbery - five per cent of all pharmacies and service stations in the survey sample accounted for almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of all reported robbery incidents.

Business hours of operation and annual turnover are also important risk factors for robberies against service stations. Service stations that were victims of robbery, during 1998-1999, were significantly more likely to operate 24 hours a day than non-victimised service stations. Victimised service stations were also more likely to have an annual turnover greater than $500,000.