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This compendium of the most recent available national information on crime in Australia is intended to serve as a ready reference. The number of different types of recorded crimes, their place of occurrence, victim details, responses of criminal justice agencies, and government resources directed to deal with crime are covered.

While the Australian Institute of Criminology has been collecting data for the past 28 years, it is only since 1993 that Australia has had comparative statistics on recorded crimes for some major crimes, and only since 1996 that a limited set of statistics on cases/defendants processed in courts has become available.

It must be noted that crimes recorded by the police do not reflect the true level of crime in Australia. Crime and safety surveys in Australia and crime victim surveys from overseas clearly show that only about 40 per cent of crimes are reported to the police by the victims.

Crime and the administration of justice are the responsibility of each State and Territory government, and their agencies publish State or Territory-based reports. The Australian Bureau of Statistics attempts to provide a national picture and in recent years has produced a number of reports on crime-related issues. The data here comprise national figures only, with some minor exceptions. Should readers want State-based data they should consult the appropriate publications included in the reference section of this document

The Australian Institute of Criminology prepares materials containing the latest data on crime and justice issues and produces a number of publications on a wide range of issues. Further information may be obtained by visiting the AIC web site or by contacting the Institute.

Adam Graycar


March 2002

Last updated
3 November 2017