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Selected crime profiles

  • ISBN 978 1 921185 30 4 ; ISSN 1832-228X
  • Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, 2007

Homicide

The definition of homicide used by the ABS is the unlawful killing of another person. Homicide statistics discussed here include the following categories of offences:
  • murder - the wilful killing of a person either intentionally or with reckless indifference to life
  • manslaughter - the unlawful killing of a person caused:
    • without intent to kill, usually as a result of a careless, reckless or negligent act, or
    • intentionally, but due to extreme provocation, or
    • when in a state of mind that impairs the capacity to understand or control one's actions.

This reflects categories recorded by police at the time of the homicide and does not necessarily reflect the final outcome at conviction of an offender.

Homicide does not include:

  • attempted murder - the attempt to unlawfully kill another person by any means, act or omission
  • driving causing death - the unlawful killing of a person caused through culpable, dangerous or negligent driving.

Data from the ABS are supplemented with more detailed information collected by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) through the National Homicide Monitoring Program. The ABS reports on a calendar year and the AIC on a financial year basis.

There were 295 homicides in Australia in 2005, with 1.5 victims per 100,000 population. Murder accounted for 92% of the victims recorded in 2005. The remainder were victims of manslaughter.

Sources:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS
  • Adapted from ABS causes of death 1915-2003 data

Location of homicides

Figure 8 : Homicide by type of location, 2005

a: Includes unspecified location (n=3)

  • The majority of homicides take place in the home. An increase from 56% in 2004 to 63% in 2005 of all homicides occurred in a private dwelling.
  • Following private dwellings, 'other community' locations (e.g. offices, banks, shops, service stations, warehouses, recreation facilities and farms) were the second most common location (13%).
  • Homicides were less likely to occur at recreational (4%), retail (3%) and transport (1%) locations.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Victims of homicide

Figure 9 : Age and gender of homicide victims, 2005 (rate per 100,000 relevant persons)

  • 64% of homicide victims in 2005 were male.
  • In all age categories the risk of being a victim of homicide was higher for males than for females, with the exception of those aged 0-9 years.
  • Males in the 25 to 44 age group were most at risk of being a homicide victim in 2005.
  • The age and gender breakdown of homicide victims in 2005 is largely unchanged from previous years.

Sources:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002-2005. Population by age and sex, Australian states and territories (various issues). ABS cat. no. 3201.0. Canberra: ABS

Victim-offender relationship

Figure 10 : Homicide victims, relationship to offender, 2004-05 (percent)

a: Includes acquaintances

b: Other includes business associates, employee/employer, colleagues and other relationships

  • The victim-offender relationship for homicide differs according to the gender of the victims.
  • Similar to 2003-04, male victims in 2004-05 were more likely than female victims to be killed by a friend or acquaintance (38% and 10%, respectively) whereas female victims were more likely than male victims to be killed by an intimate partner (59% and 9%, respectively).
  • A similar percentage of male and female victims were killed by a family member (17% and 18% respectively).
  • Only 2% of female victims were killed by a person unknown to them (i.e. a stranger), compared with 25% of male victims.

Source:

Figure 11 : Homicide, type of weapon, 2004-05

  • In 2004-05 the most common weapon used in homicide was a knife (32%).
  • A further 22% of homicides were committed using physical force (hands/feet), 15% with firearms and 14% with blunt instruments.

Source:

Trend in homicide

Figure 12 : Homicide victims, 1993-2005 (number)

  • The number of murders fluctuated slightly between 1993 and 2005, while manslaughter remained relatively stable. The number of murders peaked in 1999 at 344.
  • The number of manslaughters peaked in 2002 with 48 recorded in that year.
  • The 270 murders recorded in 2005 represented a slight increase over the previous year. The 263 murders recorded in 2004 was the lowest number recorded in any year since 1993.
  • The number of victims of manslaughter recorded in 2005 was 25, lower than in any year since 1993.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Trend in firearm homicides

Figure 13 : Homicides involving firearms as a percentage of total homicides, 1915-2003

  • The percentage of homicides committed with a firearm continued a declining trend which began in 1969. In 2003, fewer than 16% of homicides involved firearms. The figure was similar in 2002 and 2001, down from a high of 44% in 1968.

Source:

  • Adapted from ABS causes of death 1915-2003 data

Assault

The ABS defines assault as the direct infliction of force, injury or violence upon a person, including attempts or threats. ABS assault data for 2005 have been aggregated using data from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia and included in charts regarding details of location, gender and age of victim. 2005 data on victim-offender relationship were not available and the corresponding chart refers to 2003 assault data, the most recent available for this variable.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Location of assaults

Figure 14 : Assault, type of location, 2005a

a: Includes data from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia and represents 94% of all assaults recorded in 2005

b: Includes unspecified location (n=2,755)

  • Recorded assaults occurred most frequently in private dwellings (41%).
  • Street/footpath locations accounted for 22% of recorded assaults.
  • Recreational and retail locations accounted for 10% and 9% respectively of recorded assaults.
  • Recorded assaults were least likely to occur on transport (4%) and at residential locations other than private dwellings (3%).

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Victims of assault

Figure 15 : Age and gender of assault victims, 2005 (rate per 100,000 relevant persons)a

a: Includes data from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia and represents 94% of all assaults recorded in 2005

  • 57% of recorded assault victims were male.
  • Males had higher victimisation rates than females for all age categories.
  • Both males and females aged between 15 and 24 years had the highest rates of assault.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002-2005. Population by age and sex, Australian states and territories (various issues). ABS cat. no. 3201.0. Canberra: ABS

Assault victim-offender relationship

Figure 16 : Assault victims, relationship to offender, 2003 (percent)a

a: Excludes Queensland and Western Australia (information not available). Also excludes the 9% of instances where the relationship between victim and offender was not stated or known in the remaining jurisdictions

b: Known other includes known non-family and known but not further defined, which may include some family members

  • Where the relationship between victim and offender was stated, 81% of female victims of assault knew the offender, compared with 49% of male victims.
  • Assaults against females were more than twice as likely to be perpetrated by a family member than those against males.
  • In contrast, 51% of male victims were assaulted by strangers, compared with only 19% of female victims.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Figure 17 : Assault victims, type of location, 2003 (percent)

  • Most male victims (70%) were assaulted in non-residential locations, whereas the majority of female victims (58%) were assaulted in residential premises.

Source:

  • Extracted from ABS recorded crime data

Trend in assault

Figure 18 : Assaults, by month, 1995-2005 (number)

  • The trend in assaults shows an average growth of 6% each year between 1995 and 2005. This is three times the annual growth of the Australian population over the same period.
  • Assault is seasonal. The number of assaults peak in the spring and summer months of October to February, and is lowest during April to July.

Source:

  • Extracted from ABS recorded crime data

Sexual assault

The ABS defines sexual assault as a physical assault of a sexual nature, directed toward another person where that person:

  • does not give consent
  • gives consent as a result of intimidation or fraud
  • is legally deemed incapable of giving consent because of youth or temporary/permanent incapacity.

Sexual assault includes: rape, sodomy, buggery, oral sex, incest, carnal knowledge, unlawful sexual intercourse, indecent assault, and assault with intent to rape.

As with assault, sexual assault data for 2005 have been aggregated using data from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia and included in charts regarding details of location, and gender and age of victim. The chart on victim-offender relationship refers to 2003 data, the most recent available for this variable.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Location of sexual assaults

Figure 19 : Sexual assault, type of location, 2005a

a: Includes data from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia and represents 96% of all sexual assaults recorded in 2005

b: Includes unspecified location (n=696)

  • Sexual assault was most likely to occur in the home environment. Of sexual assaults recorded in Australia in 2005, 65% occurred in private dwellings.
  • Sexual assaults on streets/footpaths accounted for 7% of all recorded sexual assaults.
  • 3% occurred on transport and 9% at other community locations.
  • 5% of recorded sexual assaults took place at recreational locations and 3% at retail locations.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Victims of sexual assault

Figure 20 : Age and gender of sexual assault victims, 2005 (rate per 100,000 relevant persons)a

a: Includes data from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia and represents 96% of all sexual assaults recorded in 2005

  • 84% of sexual assault victims in 2005 were female.
  • The highest rate of sexual assault was recorded for girls 10-14 years of age at 516 per 100,000 females in that age group.
  • For males, rates were highest for those aged 10-14 (88 per 100,000 relevant persons) and under 10 (70 per 100,000 relevant persons).
  • Females consistently recorded higher rates of sexual assault than males irrespective of age.
  • Males made up 30% of sexual assault victims aged less than 10 years and 15% or less in older age groups.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002-2005. Population by age and sex, Australian states and territories (various issues). ABS cat. no. 3201.0. Canberra: ABS

Victim-offender relationship

Figure 21 : Sexual assault victims, relationship to offender, 2003 (percent)a

a: Excludes Queensland and Western Australia (information not available). Also excludes 5% of recorded assaults where the relationship between victim and offender was not stated or known in the remaining jurisdictions

b: Known other includes known non-family and known not further defined and may include some family members

  • Where the relationship between victim and offender was stated, most sexual assaults (78%) were committed by a person known to the victim.
  • Two in five sexual assaults were perpetrated by a family member. The figure is higher (47%) for male victims.
  • In 38% of sexual assaults the offender was a non-family member known to the victim.
  • 22% of sexual assaults were committed by strangers. Females were more likely than males to be sexually assaulted by strangers.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Trend in sexual assault

Figure 22 : Sexual assault victims, by month, 1995-2005

  • Reported sexual assaults have increased by an average 4% each year since 1995.
  • The number of recorded sexual assaults was typically highest during the months of January to March and September to November and lowest during April to July.

Source:

  • Extracted from ABS recorded crime data

Robbery

Robbery is defined by the ABS as the unlawful taking of property, without consent, accompanied by force or threat of force. Robbery victims can be persons or organisations.

Types of robbery

Robbery is divided into two categories of offences.

  • Armed robbery - robbery conducted with the use of a weapon. A weapon is any object used to cause fear or injury, and includes imitation weapons and implied weapons; for example, where a weapon is not seen by the victim but the offender claims to possess one.
  • Unarmed robbery - robbery conducted without the use of a weapon.

Of the 16,787 robberies recorded during 2005, 63% were unarmed and 37% were committed with some type of weapon. This was similar to the previous three years.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Trend in robbery

Figure 23 : Robbery victims, by month, 1995-2005 (number)

  • There were slightly more robberies in 2005 than in the previous year - 16,787 compared with 16,513 in 2004. However, there are still fewer robberies occurring than in the early 2000s.
  • The proportion of robberies involving a weapon continues to decrease. In 1998, 46% of all robberies were armed, compared with 37% in 2005.
  • The number of both armed and unarmed robberies peaked in March 2001, at 1,131 and 1,558 respectively.
  • Armed and unarmed robberies follow similar monthly patterns.

Source:

  • Extracted from ABS recorded crime data

Figure 24 : Robbery, type of weapon, 2005

a: Includes unspecified type of weapon (n=811)

  • A knife was most likely to be used in robberies involving the use of weapons. In 2005 knives were used in 19% of all robberies.
  • Robberies involving firearms made up 5% of all robberies in 2005.
  • A small percentage (2%) of robberies were carried out with the use of a syringe as the primary weapon.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Figure 25 : Robbery, type of location, 2005

a: Includes unspecified location (n=357)

  • Robberies in 2005 occurred most frequently on streets/footpaths (44%) and in retail premises (23%).
  • Robberies were less likely to occur on transport (9%) or in residential (7%), recreational (6%) and other community (6%) locations.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Figure 26 : Age and gender of robbery victims, 2005 (rate per 100,000 relevant persons)

  • In all age categories, males were at higher risk of being a victim of robbery than were females. In 2005, the discrepancy between male and female rates was highest among those aged 15 to 19 and decreased with age. However there was a slight increase again among those aged 45 and over.
  • Males aged 15-19 years were more than twice as likely to be a victim of robbery as males or females in any other age category. The rate for males aged 15-19 was 337 per 100,000, compared with 42 per 100,000 for males aged 35-44.
  • Rates for females were highest among the 15-19 age group at 90 per 100,000, and next highest in the 45 and over age group, at 63 per 100,000.

Sources:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002-2005. Population by age and sex, Australian states and territories (various issues). ABS cat. no. 3201.0. Canberra: ABS

Armed robbery

There were 6,222 armed robberies recorded during 2005. This represents a 3% increase since 2004.

Figure 27 : Armed robbery victims, 2005

  • 33% of armed robberies were committed against organisations, such as banks and chemists.
  • A person (male or female) was the victim of 66% of armed robberies. Victims of armed robbery were almost three times more likely to be male than female.

Sources:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS
  • Extracted from ABS recorded crime data

Unarmed robbery

There were 10,565 unarmed robberies recorded during 2005, a 0.8% increase from the number in 2004.

Figure 28 : Unarmed robbery victims, 2005

  • Unarmed robberies were much less likely than armed robberies to target organisations. 6% of unarmed robberies involved organisations compared with 33% of armed robberies.
  • Males were more than twice as likely as females to be victims of unarmed robbery.

Source:

  • Extracted from ABS recorded crime data

Unlawful entry with intent

UEWI is defined by the ABS as the unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit an offence. UEWI offences include burglary, break and enter, and some stealing.

The rate of UEWI decreased from 2,244 victims per 100,000 in 2001 when it was at its highest, to 1,397 per 100,000 in 2005.

Sources:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002-2005. Population by age and sex, Australian states and territories (various issues). ABS cat. no. 3201.0. Canberra: ABS

Location of UEWI

Figure 29 : UEWI, type of location, 2005

a: Includes unspecified location (n=4,335)

b: Includes transport, the street/footpath and other community locations

  • UEWI is most likely to take place in residential locations. 60% of UEWI offences occurred in private dwellings, and an additional 6% in other residential locations.
  • 12% of recorded UEWI offences took place in retail locations.
  • Only 8% of UEWI offences occurred at community locations.
  • Less than half of one percent of UEWI took place in transport locations.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Trend in UEWI

Figure 30 : UEWI, by month, 1995-2005 (number)

  • There was a significant overall decline in the number of UEWI offences between 1995 and 2005.
  • The number of UEWI offences peaked at 42,451 incidents in January 2001.
  • UEWI incidents involving theft of property accounted for 72% of all UEWI offences in 2005, down from 78% in 1995.
  • There were approximately 33 recorded incidents of UEWI every hour in Australia in 2005, down from 36 every hour in 2004.

Source:

  • Extracted from ABS recorded crime data

Motor vehicle theft

MVT is the taking of a motor vehicle unlawfully or without permission. It excludes damaging and tampering or interfering with motor vehicles. The theft of motor vehicle parts or contents is included under the offence category of other theft. Motor vehicle refers to cars, motorcycles, campervans and trucks.

There were 80,738 motor vehicles reported stolen to police in 2005, with 580 vehicles stolen per 100,000 registered vehicles. This represents an 8% decrease on the number of thefts recorded in 2004. On average, there was one MVT every seven minutes in Australia in 2005.

Sources:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2005. Motor vehicle census, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 9309.0. Canberra: ABS

Location of MVT

Figure 31 : MVT, type of location, 2005

a: Includes unspecified location (n=3,900)

b: Includes private dwellings and other residential locations

c: Transport includes public car parks

  • The majority of MVTs occurred in community locations (52%), particularly streets/footpaths (39%) and transport locations (13%).
  • 28% of MVTs occurred at a residential location.
  • Retail locations accounted for 10% of MVTs in 2005.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Trend in MVT

Figure 32 : MVT, by month, 1995-2005 (number)

  • In August 2005, MVT decreased to the lowest monthly level recorded since 1995 with 6,229 motor vehicles stolen. In the period 1995-2005, the average recorded number of vehicles stolen per month was 9,854.
  • The incidence of recorded monthly MVT peaked in March 2001, with 12,651 cars being recorded stolen in that month. Incidentally, robbery and UEWI also peaked at that time.
  • Between March 2001 and December 2005 MVT registered a 48% decrease. The overall decrease in the period 1995-2004 was 38%.
  • Friday and Saturday evenings are the most popular periods for theft.
  • 52% of vehicle thefts occurred between 5 pm and midnight.

Sources:

  • Extracted from ABS recorded crime data
  • National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council 2005. Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) 2004/2005 statistical data. [datafile] Adelaide: CARShttp://ncars.on.net/

Recovery rates

This section presents data on recovery rates of stolen vehicles from the National CARS (Comprehensive Auto-theft Research System) Project.

  • A total of 62,436 stolen cars were recovered in 2004-05, resulting in a national recovery rate of 75%.
  • 46% of vehicles stolen and recovered during the year were found within 25 hours of theft, and 88% of recoveries occurred within a fortnight.

Source:

  • National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council 2005. Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) 2004/2005 statistical data. [datafile] Adelaide: CARShttp://ncars.on.net/

Figure 33 : Stolen motor vehicles recovered, 2000-01 to 2004-05 (percent)

  • The percentage of stolen vehicles that have been recovered decreased from 80% in 2000-01 to 75% in 2004-05.
  • Vehicles manufactured in the 1980s recorded a theft rate of 143 thefts per 1,000 registrations compared with 4 per 1,000 for 1990s models and 2 per 1,000 for 2000-04 models. Newer models are less likely to be stolen because engine immobilising technology makes their theft more difficult.
  • In 2004-05, models manufactured from 2000 onwards recorded a recovery rate of 64% compared with 83% for 1980s models and 74% for 1990s models. Although significantly less likely to be stolen, newer models have a much lower recovery rate because they are more likely to be stolen for rebirthing and spare parts than older cars.

Source:

  • National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council 2005. Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) 2004/2005 statistical data. [datafile] Adelaide: CARShttp://ncars.on.net/

Theft and recovery by vehicle type

Figure 34 : Theft and recovery by type of vehicle, 2004-05 (rate per 1,000 registrations)

  • In 2004-05, as in previous years, motorcycles were more likely to be stolen than any other type of vehicle, with a theft rate of 15 per 1,000 registrations.
  • Motorcycles were also least likely to be recovered, with only 30% of stolen motorcycles being recovered during the course of the year, compared with 82% of station wagons, 80% of sedans and 76% of trucks.
  • Vans and sedans were more likely to be stolen than station wagons, utilities or trucks.

Source:

  • National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council 2005. Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System (CARS) 2004/2005 statistical data. [datafile] Adelaide: CARShttp://ncars.on.net/

Other theft

The ABS defines other theft (stealing) as the taking of another person's property with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of the property illegally and without permission, but without force, threat of force, use of coercive measures, deceit or having gained unlawful entry to any structure even if the intent was to commit theft.

This offence includes such crimes as pickpocketing, bag snatching, stealing (including shoplifting), theft from a motor vehicle, theft of motor vehicle parts/accessories/petrol, stealing of stock/domestic animals, and theft of non-motorised vehicles/boats/aircraft/bicycles. It is the largest of all the crime categories included in the national statistics.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Location of other theft

Figure 35 : Other theft, type of location, 2005

a: Includes unspecified location (n=22,240)

  • Other theft was most likely to occur at retail locations (28% of all such thefts in 2005).
  • In 25% of cases, other theft occurred at residential locations, including 12% in private dwellings and 13% in other residential locations (which include yards, carports, garages and outbuildings associated with private dwellings).
  • 16% of thefts took place on the street or footpath.
  • Other theft was less likely at transport locations (9%), recreational (6%) and other community (6%).

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006. Recorded crime, victims, Australia 2005. ABS cat. no. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

Trend in other theft

Figure 36 : Other thefts by month, 1995-2005 (number)

  • During 2005 there was an average of 43,261 victims of theft per month, or one every minute.
  • Since 2001 the number of other thefts has been decreasing. The monthly number of other thefts peaked in January 2001, at 61,786. Between then and December 2005 the monthly number of thefts decreased by 31%.

Source:

  • Extracted from ABS recorded crime data

Fraud and deception-related crime

As information about fraud and deception-related crime is not collected by the ABS, this section presents data extracted from information published by state and territory police agencies. The classifications of fraud and deception-related offences include cheque and credit card fraud, fraudulent trade practices, social security fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, bribery and other deception offences. Precise definitions may vary by state.

Fraud offences are recorded by the police on a financial year basis. Fraud is believed to be one of the most under-reported offences with less than 50% of incidents being reported to police or other authorities.

Table 5 : Fraud offences, 1995-96 to 2004-05 (number)
1995-9691,495
1996-97101,256
1997-98109,404
1998-99112,209
1999-00112,264
2000-01106,141
2001-02109,080
2002-03108,940
2003-04102,863
2004-0589,198
  • The overall trend in fraud that has been reported to and recorded by police over the eleven year period has been relatively stable, with 2005 being the lowest recorded.

Sources:

  • Victoria Police 1992-2005. Victoria Police crime statistics (various issues). Melbourne: Victoria Police
  • South Australia Police 1996-2005. Statistical review/Annual report (various issues). Adelaide: SAPOL
  • Queensland Police Service 1992-2005. Annual statistical review (various issues). Brisbane: QPS
  • New South Wales. Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research 1992-2005. New South Wales recorded crime statistics (various issues). Sydney: BOCSAR
  • Western Australia Police 1992-2005. Western Australia Police Service annual crime statistics report (various issues). Perth: WAPS
  • Tasmania. Department of Police and Emergency Management 1992-2005. Annual report of the Department of Police and Public Safety (various issues). Hobart: DPPS
  • Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services 1992-2005. Annual report of the Police Force of the Northern Territory, Northern Territory Emergency Services, Fire Service of the Northern Territory (various issues). Darwin: NTPFES
  • Australian Federal Police 2005. Annual report 2004-2005. Canberra: AFP

Drug arrests

This section provides an overview of arrest patterns for offenders between 1995-96 and 2004-05. Drug arrests usually come to the attention of police either through specific drug law enforcement activity or coincidentally through an investigation into another matter, often related to property offences.

Arrest information is provided for the following types of drugs:

  • cannabis
  • heroin (and other opioids)
  • amphetamines (ATS including amphetamine and methylamphetamine)
  • cocaine
  • other drugs (hallucinogens, phenethylamines (including ecstasy and MDMA), steroids and drugs not defined elsewhere).

Cannabis arrests include expiation notices, drug infringement notices, and simple cannabis offence notices.

Offenders involved in drug arrests are divided into two categories:

  • consumers - persons charged with user-type offences (e.g. possessing or administering drugs for own personal use)
  • providers - persons charged with supply-type offences (e.g. importation, trafficking, selling, cultivation and manufacture).

In the case of a person being charged with consumer and provider offences, the provider charge takes precedence and the person is counted only as a provider of that drug.

Figure 37 : Drug arrests by type of drug, 1995-96 to 2004-05 (number)

a: Other includes hallucinogens, phenethylamines, steroids and other drugs (not defined elsewhere)

  • Since 1995-96, there has been an overall decline of 22% in the number of arrests for drug offences.
  • Arrests for cannabis offences declined by 30%.
  • The number of arrests for heroin offences declined by 54%.
  • Arrests for amphetamines have more than doubled.
  • In 1995-96, 80% of drug arrests involved cannabis, compared with 71% in 2004-05.

Source:

  • Australian Crime Commission 2002-2006. Illicit drug data report (various issues, title varies). Canberra: ACC. 2002 report released by Australian Bureau of Crime Intelligence

Figure 38 : Drug arrests, consumers and providers, by type of drug, 2004-05 (percent)

a: Other includes hallucinogens, phenethylamines, steroids and other drugs (not defined elsewhere)

  • The majority of people arrested for drug offences were consumers rather than providers.
  • 81% of all arrests for drug offences in 2004-05 involved consumers, up from 75% in 1995-96.
  • In 2004-05, 39% of persons arrested for cocaine offences were providers, 37% for heroin, 27% for amphetamine and 16% for cannabis offences.

Source:

  • Australian Crime Commission 2002-2006. Illicit drug data report (various issues, title varies). Canberra: ACC. 2002 report released by Australian Bureau of Crime Intelligence

Figure 39 : Drug consumers, by gender and type of drug, 2004-05 (percent)

a: Other includes hallucinogens, phenethylamines, steroids and other drugs (not defined elsewhere)

Figure 40 : Drug providers, by gender and type of drug, 2004-05 (percent)

a: Other includes hallucinogens, phenethylamines, steroids and other drugs (not defined elsewhere)

  • Males accounted for approximately 8 in 10 arrests of both consumer and provider offenders irrespective of drug type.

Source:

  • Australian Crime Commission 2002-2006. Illicit drug data report (various issues, title varies). Canberra: ACC. 2002 report released by Australian Bureau of Crime Intelligence