Australian Institute of Criminology

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Rural crime victims statistics

The Australian Institute of Criminology conducted a one-off survey into farm crime in 2003. The survey focussed on rural properties and the types of crimes that affect farming operations. The farm crime survey was funded by the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department.

Percentage of farms victimised, by type of crime, 2003 (a)

Percentage of farms victimised, by type of crime, 2003

(a) Figures do not add to totals due to multiple responses.

Source: Australian Institute of Criminology 2004. National farm crime survey [computer file]

  • Overall, 17% of farmers surveyed reported experiencing at least one type of crime in the 12 months prior to the survey. 54% of these were repeat victims.
  • The most common type of crime reported by farmers was theft. Altogether, theft of farm machinery, equipment, vehicles, materials, tools or spare parts affected 6% of farms.
  • Theft of livestock was reported by almost 5% of farmers.
  • Farms located in remote areas were more vulnerable to livestock theft. Those in accessible areas were more vulnerable to theft of machinery or equipment or vandalism.

Reporting to police by crime type, percentage, 2003

Reporting to police by crime type, percentage, 2003

Source: Australian Institute of Criminology 2004. National farm crime survey [computer file]

  • 60% of crimes were not reported to police for reasons similar to crime occurring in other locations - a belief that the police wouldn't be able to do anything about it, and that it was not serious enough to report.
  • Theft of firearms was most likely to be reported (97% of such thefts), followed by theft of vehicles (66%) and farm residence burglary (55%).
  • Crimes least likely to be reported included illegal dumping of waste (22%), illegal hunting/fishing (28%), theft of fuel (33%) and livestock theft (35%).

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