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Armed robbery levels decline in 2009-10

Media release

15 January 2014

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has released the National Armed Robbery Monitoring Program (NARMP) report covering calendar years 2009-10

The report summarises key findings from information describing the 12,005 victims reported to police in Australia.

“Nationally, armed robbery continues to decrease. In 2003, the rate of armed robbery victimisation was 33 persons per 100,000, whereas the rate was calculated at 18 persons per 100,000 in 2010,” report author Dr Maria Borzycki said.

In raw figures, victim numbers fell from 8,865 in 2003 to 5,713 in 2010 - a 36 percent decrease. The number of incidents in which these victims were involved has also decreased over time, with a 24 percent decrease from 6,640 robberies in 2006 to a low of 5,022 in 2010.

There are some trends – although only involving small numbers – that warrant monitoring in coming years, including:

  • armed robberies in licensed premises, which  increased by 20 percent from 309 in 2004, to 370 in 2010, and
  • a rise in the number incidents perpetrated by exclusively female offenders, increasing from 93 in 2004 to 130 in 2010.

While overall numbers and rates of armed robbery have declined, descriptive analyses suggest other features of armed robbery have remained constant over time:

  • Each year around one-third of armed robberies took place on the street or footpath, while around one-fifth took place in unspecified retail businesses.
  • Knives were the weapon most commonly used in around five or six out of every 10 armed robberies, whereas firearms were used in less than one in five (values ranged between 13% and 18% of all armed robberies depending on year).

“It is important to understand specific types of armed robbery and to better target prevention strategies as this crime type can cause debilitating injury and trauma to victims,” Dr Borzycki said.

For Comment: Colin Campbell 0418 159 525/ 02 62609244