Australian Institute of Criminology

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National picture of crime and justice released today

Media Release

03 March 2005

Australian Institute of Criminology Director, Dr Toni Makkai, today released 'Australian Crime: Facts and Figures 2004', which serves as a ready reference for Australian crime statistics.

Facts and Figures provides trend and recent data on different types of recorded crime; crime victimisation; alleged offenders; and on criminal courts, corrections and criminal justice resources.

Dr Makkai said 'the report provides a national picture of crime and justice throughout Australia for the period 1996 to 2003'.

'Overall the figures show that there have been declines across almost all of the major crimes in Australia, particularly for property offences which accounted for 85% of all major crimes in 2003' Dr Makkai reported.

The homicide rate was at its highest in 1999 with a rate of 2.04 per 100,000 of the population. This dropped to 1.7 per 100,000 of the population in 2003.

The rate for robbery peaked at 137 per 100,000 of the population in 2001, the highest recorded since 1996. Since 2001 rates have declined by 28% to 99 per 100,000 of the population.

The rate of assault increased steadily from 623 victims per 100,000 people in 1996 to 815 per 100,000 people in 2002, before declining by 2% to 798 per 100,000 in 2003.

The number of sexual assaults increased between 2002 and 2003 by approximately 1%. This was the only offence to record an increase during this period.

This is the seventh publication in the series which is published annually by the AIC.

While the AIC has been collecting and analysing data for the past 30 years, the availability of national statistics on major crimes is a relatively recent phenomenon. This publication makes use of those national statistics as well as a variety of other sources.