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An exploratory analysis of armed robbery in Australia

Technical and background paper no. 7

Jenny Mouzos and Maria Borzycki
ISBN 0 642 53833 6 ISSN 1445-7261
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, January 2003

Abstract

This report presents the results of an exploratory analysis of armed robbery in Australia. The study had two aims. The first was to provide an analysis of the characteristics of armed robberies, the offenders and the victims, while the second was to examine the value of a regular armed robbery monitoring program. The analysis is based on data supplied by state and territory police services for all armed robbery offences for the three month period 1 October to 31 December 2001, and a pilot subset of incident narratives relating to some of these. Furthermore, New South Wales provided additional variables to those supplied by other jurisdictions (ie offender information, type of property stolen and specific location information), and additional analyses were performed on the NSW armed robbery incidents to illustrate the type of analyses that could be undertaken if additional data were supplied to the National Armed Robbery Monitoring Program. The report presents findings from the national analyses on patterns and types of weapons used in armed robberies, age group at highest risk of armed robbery, and possible armed robbery scenarios. Additional analyses of the NSW armed robbery incidents produce more detailed findings about timing, difference in weapon use by retail location, completion of robberies according to weapon type, sole versus multiple offenders, gender and prior charges of offenders, and type of property most frequently stolen. This examination suggests that it would be worthwhile mounting a full scale National Armed Robbery Monitoring Program. This should be in the form of unit records so that all available details of each single robbery incident can be examined in different ways, and the data that police provide should include variables additional to those supplied to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.