Armed robbery is a serious crime that can have a negative impact on individual victims and employees of businesses that may be targeted. People who work in locations vulnerable to armed robbery can experience emotional repercussions if present during an armed robbery. The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) continues to focus on reducing armed robbery in Australia in order 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 in armed robbery in Australia, with a particular focus on identifying changes over time in the use of specific weapons. The 2008 annual report is the sixth publication since the AIC began monitoring this offence. Building on previous analyses, this report provides an overview of the 6,427 victims of armed robbery and the situations, including locations, that made them vulnerable to victimisation.
In total, there were 5,686 armed robbery incidents in 2008. This represents a decline in the previous year’s figures and is part of a continuing decline in the rate of armed robberies in Australia. While the cause for this decline is yet to be fully explained, it remains a welcome finding. This decrease will continue to be monitored by NARMP to establish whether armed robbery incidents continue to decline in the coming years or if numbers begin to stabilise.
The 2008 data collection and annual report has been able to include additional information about armed robbery incidents. The inclusion of this additional data allows for a more detailed examination of armed robberies reported to police in Australian states and territories during 2008. Such information is valuable in assisting law enforcement to develop a more complete picture of armed robbery incidents, including being able to determine whether there are any differences in net financial gains for offenders based on the type of weapon they use, or the locations they target.
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 AIC greatly appreciates this cooperation and assistance, as we do the advice and assistance of our many stakeholders, including the retail, financial, service station and private security industries.