Australian Institute of Criminology

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Selected crime profiles

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; and
  • manslaughter—the unlawful killing of a person:
    – 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 take into account the final outcome of the court case.

Homicide does not include:

  • attempted murder—the attempt to unlawfully kill another person by any means, act or omission; and
  • driving causing death—the unlawful killing of a person without intent to kill, caused through culpable, dangerous or negligent driving.

The data collected by the AIC through the National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) is supplemented with greater detail than that collected by the ABS.

Data on the use of firearms in homicide are derived from victim data collected in the NHMP. Previous editions of Australian crime: Facts & figures used ABS data on causes of death, but coding procedures used since 2004 (related to an increase in the number of open coroners' cases) have resulted in an undercounting in those data of firearm deaths due to assault (ie firearm homicide).

There were 290 homicides in Australia in 2008, with 1.35 victims per 100,000 population. In 2008, murder accounted for 230, or 90 percent, of the victims recorded. The remaining 30 victims, or 10 percent, were victims of manslaughter.

National data on the location of manslaughter victims (30 victims) cannot be presented here as it was in previous years, due to incompleteness of ABS published data, particularly regarding the breakdown of manslaughter by residential and community locations.

Source: References 1 and 3

Location of murders

Figure 8: Murder location type, 2008 (%)

Figure 8 Murder location type, 2008

a: Includes unspecified location

n=260

  • Similar to prior years, the majority (56%) of murders took place in a dwelling.
  • The street/footpath was the second most common location of murders (15%).
  • Murders were least likely to occur on transport (1%), retail and recreational locations (4% each) and outbuilding/other residential land (5%).

Source: Reference 1

Victims of murders

Figure 9: Murder victimisation rates, 2008, by age in years and sex (per 100,000 population of that age group and sex)

Figure 9 Murder victimisation rates, 2008, by age in years and sex

Note: National data on the age and sex of manslaughter victims (30 victims) cannot be presented here as it was in previous years, due to incompleteness of published data, particularly regarding the breakdown of manslaughter by age categories

  • In 2008, 62 percent of murder victims were male.
  • Except in the 10 to 14 years age group and in the 65 years and over age group, males had a higher risk of being a victim of murder than did females.
  • The highest risk male age group was 45 to 64 years. The highest risk age group for women was 25 to 44 years.

Source: References 1 and 2

Victim–offender relationship

Figure 10: Homicide victim's relationship to offender, 2007–08 (%)

Figure 10 Homicide victim's relationship to offender, 2007–08

a: Includes acquaintances
b: Includes business associates, employee/employer, colleagues and other relationships
n=306

  • Male victims in 2007–08 were more likely than female victims (33% and 10% respectively) to have been killed by a friend or acquaintance, whereas female victims were more likely than male victims (56% and 10% respectively) to have been killed by an intimate partner.
  • Female victims were also slightly more likely than male victims (26% and 22% respectively) to have been killed by a family member.
  • Thirty percent of males and six percent of females were killed by a stranger.

Source: Reference 3

Weapon use

Figure 11: Type of weapon used in homicide, 2007–08 (%)

Figure 11 Type of weapon used in homicide, 2007–08

n=248

  • In 2007–08, the most common weapon used in homicide was a knife (45%); in 2006–07, knives were used in 42 percent of homicides.
  • A further 21 percent of homicides were committed using physical force, 12 percent by firearms and 11 percent by blunt instruments.

Source: Reference 3

Trend in homicide

Figure 12: Homicide victims, 1993–2008 (n per year)

Figure 12 Homicide victims, 1993–2008

  • The number of murders peaked in 1999 at 344, while the number of manslaughters peaked in 2002 at 48.
  • In 2007, the 255 murder and 28 manslaughter victims recorded were the lowest annual number of offences recorded in any year since 1993. However, the number of murders in 2008 increased slightly from 255 in 2007 to 260 in 2008. The number of manslaughters also increased from 28 to 30 between 2007 and 2008.

Source: Reference 1

Trend in firearm homicides

Figure 13: Victims killed by firearms, 1989–90 to 2007–08 (% homicide victims)

Figure 13 Victims killed by firearms, 1989–90 to 2007–08

  • On average, 20 percent of homicide victims from 1989–90 to 2007–08 were killed by a firearm. The use of firearms in homicide has decreased over this period, however, from 26 percent in 1989–90 to 11 percent in 2007–08.

Source: Reference 3

Assault

The ABS defines assault as the direct infliction of force, injury or violence upon a person, including attempts or threats. It excludes sexual assault.

In 2008, in Australia, there were 170,277 recorded assaults, constituting 795 victims per 100,000 population.

ABS data for New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania have been aggregated for the following charts on the locations of assaults. These states represent 96 percent of all assaults recorded in 2008. National data on the age and gender of victims of assault is presented here, based on data from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

ABS data for New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory have been aggregated for Figure 16

on victim–offender relationship for assaults; information for Western Australia was not available. These states, excluding Western Australia, represent 88 percent of all assaults recorded in 2008.

National data on victims of assault cannot be presented here as it was in previous years due to differences in business rules, procedures, systems, policies and recording practices between states and territories.

Location of assault

Figure 14: Assault location type, 2008 (%)

Figure 14 Assault location type, 2008

a: Includes unspecified location
n=162,720 (excludes Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory as the residential locations could not be classified as a dwelling or as outbuilding/other residential land)

  • Recorded assaults occurred most frequently in dwellings (40%), then on streets or footpaths (24%).
  • Retail locations accounted for 13 percent of recorded assaults.
  • Recorded assaults were least likely to occur in other locations (2%) and transport and other residential locations (4% each).

Source: Reference 1

Victims of assault

Figure 15: Assault victims, 2008, by age in years and sex (per 100,000 of that age group and sex)

Figure 15 Assault victims, 2008, by age in years and sex

Note: Excludes Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory (information not available)

  • In 2008, 57 percent of recorded assault victims were male.
  • Males had higher victimisation rates than females in all age groups.
  • As in previous years, both males and females aged between 15 and 24 years had the highest rates of assault.

Source: References 1 and 2

Assault victim–offender relationship

Figure 16: Assault victims, 2008, relationship to offender (%)

Figure 16 Assault victims, 2008, relationship to offender

a: Known other includes known non-family member and known but not further defined, which may include some family members
Note: Excludes Western Australia (information not available). Also excludes the 7% of instances where the relationship between the victim and offender was not stated or not known in the remaining jurisdictions

  • Where the relationship between victim and offender was stated, 61 percent of victims of assault knew the offender.

Source: Reference 1

Trend in assault

Figure 17: Assaults, 1995–2008 (n per month)

Figure 17 Assaults, 1995–2008

Note: The ABS does not endorse the summing of state/territory data due to differences in recording practices, business rules, procedures, systems and policies (refer ABS cat. no. 4510.0 Recorded Crime Victims, 2008, Explanatory notes paragraphs 12–17) and therefore the data in Figures 17 and 20 are indicative only.

  • The trend in assaults shows an average growth of five percent each year from 1995 to 2008, nearly four times the annual growth of the Australian population in the same period.
  • Assault is seasonal. The number of assaults peaks in the spring and summer months of October to March and is lowest from April to July.

Source: Reference 4

Sexual assault

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

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

In 2008, in Australia, there were 19,733 recorded sexual assaults, with 92 victims per 100,000 population.

As with assault data, sexual assault data for 2008 have been aggregated using ABS data from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia and are included in Figure 18 showing details of location. Of all sexual assaults recorded in 2008, 96 percent occurred in these states.

ABS data for New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory have been aggregated for Figure 19 on victim–offender familiarity for sexual assaults; information for Western Australia was not available. These states, excluding Western Australia, represent 91 percent of all sexual assaults recorded in 2008.

National data on the age and gender of victims of sexual assault cannot, as it was in previous years, be presented here due to incompleteness of published state and territory age data (particularly regarding victims aged 55 and over), differences in business rules, procedures, systems, policies and recording practices between states and territories.

Source: Reference 1

Location of sexual assaults

Figure 18 Location type of sexual assault, 2008 (%)

Figure 18 Location type of sexual assault, 2008

a: Includes unspecified location
n = 18,947. Excludes residential locations that could not be classified as a dwelling or outbuilding/residential land and recreational and other

  • Of the sexual assaults recorded in 2008, 65 percent occurred in private dwellings.
  • Sexual assault was least likely to occur in other residential locations (2%) and transport locations (3%).

Source: Reference 1

Sexual assault victim–offender relationship

Figure 19: Sexual assault victims, 2008, relationship to offender (%)

Figure 19 Sexual assault victims, 2008, relationship to offender

a: Known other includes known non-family member and known but not further defined, which may include some family members
Note: Excludes Western Australia (information not available). Also excludes the 8% of instances where the relationship between the victim and offender was not stated or not known in the remaining jurisdictions

  • Where the relationship between victim and offender was stated, 78 percent of victims of sexual assault knew the offender.

Source: Reference 1

Trend in sexual assault

Figure 20: Sexual assault victims, 1995–2008 (n per month)

Figure 20 Sexual assault victims, 1995–2008

Note: The ABS does not endorse the summing of state/territory data due to differences in recording practices, business rules, procedures, systems and policies (refer ABS cat. no. 4510.0 Recorded Crime Victims, 2008, Explanatory notes paragraphs 12–17) and therefore the data in Figures 17 and 20 are indicative only

  • Reported sexual assaults have increased by 51 percent since 1995, at an average of four percent each year.
  • The number of recorded sexual assaults by month is typically highest from January to March and from September to November and lowest from April to July.

Source: Reference 4

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:

  • 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 16,508 robberies recorded during 2008, 59 percent were unarmed and 41 percent were committed with some type of weapon.

Source: Reference 1

Trend in robbery

Figure 21: Robbery victims, 1995–2008 (n per month)

Figure 21 Robbery victims, 1995–2008

n = 16,508

  • In 2008, robberies fell from 17,996 (in 2007) to 16,508 and remain substantially lower than incidents recorded in the early 2000s.
  • In 2008, the proportion of robberies involving a weapon (41%) was similar to that of 2007 (43%).
  • The numbers of both armed and unarmed robberies peaked in March 2001. Armed and unarmed robberies follow similar monthly patterns.

Source: Reference 4

Location of robberies

Figure 22: Robbery location type, 2008 (%)

Figure 22 Robbery location type, 2008

a: Includes unspecified location
n=16,508

  • In 2008, robberies predominantly occurred on streets/footpaths (48%) or in retail locations (22%).
  • Robberies were least likely to occur in other location (2%), other community (4%) and residential locations (7%).

Source: Reference 1

Victims of robberies

Figure 23: Robbery victims, 2008, by age in years and sex (per 100,000 population of that age group and sex)

Figure 23 Robbery victims, 2008, by age in years and sex

  • In all age categories, males were at higher risk than females of being a victim of robbery. In 2008, the discrepancy between male and female rates was highest in those aged 15 to 19 years and thereafter decreased with age.
  • Males aged 15 to 24 years were more than three times as likely to become a victim of robbery than males aged 25 years and over. The rate of victimisation of males aged 15 to 19 years was 383 per 100,000.
  • Females at highest risk were those aged 20 to 24 years at 95 per 100,000 and next highest were those aged 15 to 19 years at 93 per 100,000.

Source: References 1 and 2

Armed robbery

There were 6,716 armed robberies recorded during 2008, a 12 percent decrease from 2007.

Figure 24: Armed robbery victims, 2008 (%)

Figure 24 Armed robbery victims, 2008

n=6,716

  • Twenty-six percent of armed robberies were committed against organisations, such as banks and chemists.
  • A person was the victim of the remaining 74 percent of armed robberies. Victims of armed robbery were over three times more likely to be male than female.

Source: Reference 4

Figure 25: Types of weapon used in armed robbery, 2008 (%)

Figure 25 Types of weapon used in armed robbery, 2008

a: Includes 'chemical' weapon and unspecified type of weapon
n=6,716

  • In 2008, 48 percent of armed robberies were perpetrated with a knife.
  • Armed robberies involving firearms made up 15 percent of all armed robberies in 2008.

Source: Reference 1

Unarmed robberies

There were 9,793 unarmed robberies recorded during 2008; five percent fewer than in 2007.

Figure 26: Unarmed robbery victims, 2008 (%)

Figure 26 Unarmed robbery victims, 2008

n = 9,792 (Total is 1 less as 1 victim was unable to be classified)

  • Unarmed robbers were much less likely than armed robbers to target organisations; five percent of unarmed robberies involved organisations, compared with 26 percent of armed robberies.
  • Males were 2.5 times more likely than females to be victims of unarmed robbery.

Source: Reference 4

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 theft.

In 2008, there were 241,690 recorded victims of UEWI offences, constituting a rate of 1,128 per 100,000.

Location of unlawful entry with intent

Figure 27: Location type of UEWI, 2008 (%)

Figure 27 Location type of UEWI, 2008

a: Includes transport, the street and footpath, and other community locations
b: Includes unspecified location
n=241,690 (excludes residential locations that could not be classified as dwelling or outbuilding/residential land)

  • UEWI is most likely to take place in residential locations. In 2008, 65 percent of UEWI offences occurred in dwellings and an additional seven percent occurred in outbuildings and other residential locations.
  • Fourteen percent of recorded UEWI offences took place in retail locations and eight percent occurred in community locations.

Source: Reference 1

Trend in unlawful entry with intent

Figure 28: UEWIs, 1995–2008 (n per month)

Figure 28 UEWIs, 1995–2008

  • From 1995 to 2008, there was an overall decline in the monthly number of UEWI offences.
  • In 2008, on average, there were approximately 28 recorded incidents of UEWI every hour in Australia.

Source: Reference 4

Motor vehicle theft

MVT involves the taking of a motor vehicle unlawfully or without permission. It excludes damaging, tampering with and 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, trucks, buses and plant/equipment vehicles.

In 2008, there were 68,270 motor vehicles reported stolen to police, with 437 vehicles stolen per 100,000 registered vehicles. This represents an eight percent decrease in the number of thefts recorded in 2007. In 2008, on average, there was one MVT every eight minutes in Australia.

Source: References 1 and 6

Location of motor vehicle theft

Figure 29: Location type of motor vehicle thefts, 2008 (%)

Figure 29 Location type of motor vehicle thefts, 2008

a: Includes dwellings and other residential locations
b: Includes public car parks
c: Includes unspecified location (n=1,956)
n=68,270

  • The majority of motor vehicle thefts occurred in a residential location (37%) or the street or footpath (35%).

Source: Reference 1

Trend in motor vehicle theft

Figure 30: Motor vehicle thefts, 1995–2008 (n per month)

Figure 30 Motor vehicle thefts, 1995–2008

  • In December 2008, motor vehicle theft decreased to the lowest monthly level recorded since 1995, with 5,011 motor vehicles reported stolen.
  • In March 2001, the incidence of monthly recorded motor vehicle theft peaked, with 12,651 motor vehicles recorded stolen in that month.
  • From March 2001 to December 2008, motor vehicle theft registered a 60 percent decrease. The overall annual decrease in the period 1995–2008 was 46 percent.
  • In the period 1995–2008, the average recorded number of vehicles stolen per month was 9,016.

Source: Reference 4

Recovery rates

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

  • In 2007–08, the national recovery rate for stolen vehicles was 70 percent, with 48,002 stolen vehicles recovered in that period.
  • Forty-seven percent of stolen vehicles were recovered within 24 hours of theft, with 86 percent of recoveries occurring within a fortnight.

Source: Reference 6

Figure 31: Stolen motor vehicles recovered, 2002–03 to 2007–08 (% stolen)

Figure 31 Stolen motor vehicles recovered, 2002–03 to 2007–08

  • The percentage of stolen vehicles recovered has decreased from 79 percent in 2002–03 to 70 percent in 2007–08.

Source: Reference 6

Theft and recovery by vehicle type

Figure 32: Theft and recovery, 2007–08, by type of vehicle (per 1,000 registrations of that type)

Figure 32 Theft and recovery, 2007–08, by type of vehicle

  • As in previous years, motorcycles were more likely to be stolen than any other type of vehicle, with a theft rate of 13 per 1,000 registrations.
  • Vans and panel vans were the next most commonly stolen vehicle, at five per 1,000 registrations.
  • Motorcycles were least likely to be recovered, with only 35 percent of those stolen being recovered, followed by plant/equipment vehicles (47%). Other vehicle types had a much higher recovery rate, such as 79 percent (station wagons), 76 percent (sedans), 73 percent (trucks) and 72 percent (utility vehicles).

Source: Reference 6

Other theft

The ABS defines other theft 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 or petrol, theft 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.

There were 496,697 victims of other theft in 2008; a rate of 2,324 per 100,000 population.

Source: Reference 1

Location of other theft

Figure 33: Location type of other thefts, 2008 (%)

Figure 33 Location type of other thefts, 2008

a: Includes unspecified location
n=496,697. Excludes residential locations that could not be classified as a dwelling or as outbuilding/residential land

  • Other theft was most likely to occur at retail locations (30%), followed by outbuilding/other residential land (17%), on streets and footpaths (16%) and at dwellings (10%).

Source: Reference 1

Trend in other theft

Figure 34: Other thefts, 1995–2008 (n per month)

Figure 34 Other thefts, 1995–2008

  • During 2008, there was an average of 41,391 victims of recorded 'other theft' per month, or almost one every minute.
  • Since 2001, the number of 'other thefts' has been declining, after a peak in January 2001 of 61,786. From then to December 2008, the average monthly number of 'other thefts' has decreased by 39 percent.

Source: Reference 4

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 as well as the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA). Police agency's 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.

Police record fraud offences by financial year. Fraud is believed to be one of the most under-reported offences, with fewer than 50 percent of incidents being reported to police or other authorities.

Table 5: Reported fraud offences, 1995–96 to 2007–08 (n)
1995–96 91,495
1996–97 101,256
1997–98 109,404
1998–99 112,209
1999–00 112,264
2000–01 106,141
2001–02 109,080
2002–03 108,940
2003–04 102,863
2004–05 89,198
2005–06 101,222
2006–07 95,606
2007–08 93,894
  • The trend in fraud reported to and recorded by police annually over the 13 year period has been relatively stable. The number of fraud offences in 2007–08 was the second lowest since 1995–96.

Source: References 7–14

This section presents data on rates of fraud on transactions from the APCA. The APCA coordinates and manages payments clearing systems in Australia including cheques, direct debit and credit payments, EFTPOS and ATM, high value and bulk cash.

Figure 35: Fraud, cents per $1,000 transacted, by payment type, 2006–08

Figure 35 Fraud, cents per $1,000 transacted, by payment type, 2006–08

  • Fraud on credit and charge cards has increased by 44.1 percent since 2006, increasing from 36.93 cents per $1,000 transacted in 2006 to 53.20 cents per $1,000 transacted in 2008.
  • Cheque fraud declined by more than half, from 1.92 cents per $1,000 transacted using cheques to 0.88 cents per $1,000 transacted between 2006 and 2008.
  • Debit card fraud also declined from 7.73 cents per $1,000 transacted in 2006 to 6.60 cents per $1,000 transacted in 2008, representing a decline of 14.6 percent.
  • The prevalence of credit and charge card fraud in the years reviewed was substantially greater than cheque and debit card fraud.

Source: Reference 5

Federal charges

The Australian Government Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) publishes annual statistics on summary and indictable offences against Commonwealth law that were dealt with in the preceding year. Prior years have presented the statistics as charges dealt with against Commonwealth Acts and Regulations, specifically the Criminal Code Act 1995 and the Crimes Act 1914. In 2007–08, the DPP has presented data relating to defendants dealt with in 2007–08, categorised by referring agency.

In 2008–09, the DPP reviewed and improved the way in which it calculated the number of charges and defendants dealt with. As a result of these changes in methodology, the current financial year figures for charges and defendants dealt with are not directly comparable to published figures for previous financial years. The DPP has begun to recalculate past number of charges based on a new methodology and the 2007–08 figures have been calculated in line with this new methodology.

In 2007–08, the DPP dealt with 6,145 people, on a total of 24,250 charges. Summary offences accounted for 20,891 charges and indictable offences accounted for 3,359 charges.

Source: Reference 15

Table 6: Defendants dealt with by most common referring Commonwealth agency, 2007–08
Number of defendants% of total
Summary
Centrelink 3,669 66
Australian Federal Police 343 6
Australian Fisheries Management Authority 317 6
Other Commonwealth agencies 1,228 22
Total 5,557 100
Indictable
Australian Federal Police 276 47
Centrelink 71 12
Australian Crime Commission 50 9
Other Commonwealth agencies 191 32
Total 588 100
  • The majority of defendants charged with a summary offence were referred by Centrelink (66%), followed by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (both 6%). These numbers are similar to 2006–07 figures, with Centrelink again referring the greatest number of defendants (66%) followed by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (7%) and the AFP (7%).
  • The most common indictable charges were referred by the AFP (47%), Centrelink (12%) and the Australian Crime Commission (ACC; 9%). Similarly in 2006–07, 41 percent of defendants charged with indictable offences were referred by the AFP, followed by Centrelink (11%) and the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (9%).

Source: Reference 15

Drug arrests

This section provides an overview of drug arrest patterns for offenders from 1996–97 to 2007–08 as collated by the ACC in its Illicit Drug Data Report series. Drug arrests usually come to the attention of police either through specific activity in drug law enforcement 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 (including methamphetamine and phenethylamines);
  • cocaine; and
  • other drugs (hallucinogens, 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 offences (eg possessing or administering drugs for own personal use); and
  • providers—persons charged with supply offences (eg importation, trafficking, selling, cultivation, 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. A person charged with multiple drug offences is counted as a consumer or provider of each drug type.

Figure 36: Drug arrests, 1996–97 to 2007–08, by type of drug (n per year)

Figure 36 Drug arrests, 1996–97 to 2007–08, by type of drug

a: Includes hallucinogens, steroids and other drugs (not defined elsewhere)

  • Since 1996–97, there has been an overall decline of eight percent in the annual number of arrests for drug offences. From 2006–07 to 2007–08, drug arrests decreased by five percent.
  • Arrests for cannabis and heroin have both declined since 1996–97, by 24 percent and 68 percent respectively.
  • Since 1996–97, arrests for amphetamines have more than quadrupled, increasing by 310 percent.
  • In 1996–97, 81 percent of drug arrests involved cannabis, compared with 67 percent in 2007–08.

Source: Reference 16

Figure 37: Consumer/provider status of drug arrestees, 2007–08, by type of drug (%)

Figure 37 Consumer/provider status of drug arrestees, 2007–08, by type of drug

a: Includes hallucinogens, steroids and other drugs (not defined elsewhere)

  • As in previous years, consumers comprised the majority (82%) of drug arrests in 2007–08.
  • Providers accounted for 36 percent of persons arrested for cocaine offences, 30 percent of heroin arrests, 28 percent of amphetamines arrests and 14 percent of cannabis arrests.

Source: Reference 16

Figure 38: Sex of arrested drug consumers, 2007–08, by type of drug (%)

Figure 38 Sex of arrested drug consumers, 2007–08, by type of drug

a: Includes hallucinogens, steroids and other drugs (not defined elsewhere)

Figure 39: Sex of arrested drug providers, 2007–08, by type of drug (%)

Figure 39 Sex of arrested drug providers, 2007–08, by type of drug

a: Includes hallucinogens, steroids and other drugs (not defined elsewhere)

  • Males accounted for approximately 80 percent of arrests of both consumer and provider offenders, irrespective of drug type.

Source: Reference 16