Australian Institute of Criminology

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Foreword

While the volume and rate of individual crime types has fluctuated over the past few years, overall, crime in Australia has been decreasing. Australian Crime: Facts & figures uses information compiled from a broad range of sources to create an accurate and holistic picture of crime and criminal justice issues in Australia. Within this volume are the patterns and trends related to specific crimes, victims, offenders, the location of criminal acts and the operation and cost of the criminal justice system (including the police, courts and prisons). The purpose of this publication is to provide government and justice agencies, the media and the Australian public with accurate, easy to access crime statistics in a single, centralised location.

An online version of Australian Crime: Facts & figures is also available at the Australian Institute of Criminology’s (AIC) website (www.aic.gov.au). This online tool allows users to generate their own graphs and tables, and more fully engage with the data presented. For more information on specific crime and justice issues, the AIC disseminates a number of publications from fact sheets through to detailed reports. These publications are available for free download from the AIC website in a variety of formats, or by contacting the AIC directly.

Highlights

  • The number of victims of homicide, robbery and kidnapping has decreased. Kidnapping decreased by six percent from 638 in 2011–12 to 601 in 2012–13, while there was an 11 percent decrease in victims of robbery with 11,698 victims—1,465 fewer victims than the previous year. Homicide decreased by eight percent from 296 in 2011–12 to 273 in 2012–2013, with the rate remaining at historically low levels of 1.2 per 100,000. However, in 2012–13, there was a seven percent increase in recorded victims of sexual assault and a three percent increase in recorded victims of assault.
  • Similar to previous years, there were more victims of property crime compared with violent crime in 2012–13. Further, the number of victims of property crime decreased across all categories. Other theft and unlawful entry with intent decreased by four and five percent respectively, while motor vehicle theft decreased by 10 percent.
  • In 2012–13, $80,999 was spent per prisoner in Australia compared with $8,384 per person in community corrections. In terms of ratios for dollars spent, for every $1 spent on community corrections per offender per day, approximately $10 was spent on offenders in prisons.
  • Offending rates were highest for those aged between 15–19 years. Male and female juveniles had the highest rates of offending for the categories of theft, acts intending to cause injury and illicit drug offences.
  • In 2013, victims of scams most commonly reported losing money in online auctions and shopping (45%), dating and romance scams (43%), and computer prediction software (38%).
  • Non-custodial monetary orders were the most common sentences handed down to both males and females in 2012–13.

Chris Dawson
Director