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Armed robbery in Australia: 2007 National Armed Robbery Monitoring Program annual report

Monitoring report no. 11

Lance Smith, Erin Louis
ISBN 978 1 921532 58 0 ISSN 1836-2095
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, July 2010

Abstract

Armed robbery is a serious crime that can have a negative impact on individual victims and employees of targeted businesses. People who work in locations vulnerable to armed robbery can experience emotional repercussions if present at work during an armed robbery. The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) continues to undertake research to assist in reducing armed robbery in Australia and to reduce the severity of the effect this crime can have on people’s lives.

The National Armed Robbery Monitoring Program (NARMP) was established in 2003 to fill an information gap on trends and patterns of armed robbery in Australia, with a particular focus on identifying changes over time in the use of specific weapons.

The 2007 annual report is the fifth publication since the (AIC) began monitoring this offence. Building on previous analyses, this 2007 report provides an overview of the 7,133 victims of armed robbery and the situations, including locations, which made them vulnerable to victimisation. The 2007 data collection and annual report has included additional information about armed robbery incidents. In total, there were 6,086 armed robbery incidents in 2007.

The inclusion of this additional data allows for a more detailed examination of armed robberies reported to police in Australian state and territories during 2007. Such information is valuable in assisting law enforcement as it provides a more complete picture of incidents of armed robbery. This includes being able to determine whether there are any differences in net gains for offenders based on the type of weapon they use, the locations they target, or whether the offence is committed by one or more offenders.

Equally important is being able to assess whether crime prevention initiatives are having their desired impact. Separate AIC publications have been produced in recent times for this purpose, focusing on specific locations vulnerable to armed robbery such as service stations. To build further on this crime prevention focus, a section on crime prevention for armed robbery is included in the report.

Many of the AIC’s long term monitoring programs, including the NARMP, are dependent upon the support and cooperation of state and territory police. The NARMP is now accumulating enough data that some basic trends can be explored for recent years and analysis is able to provide further insight into some very different armed robbery scenarios, including high-yield armed robberies. A case study is presented in this year’s annual report examining some of the most serious incidents of armed robbery, including those carried out by ‘professional’ offenders.