Armed robbery is a violent crime and a volume crime. Its capacity to impact—sometimes profoundly—upon a large number of people means that to be effective, crime prevention strategies need to be targeted to where they can most benefit the community. Yet effective targeting requires a detailed understanding of the characteristics and nature of the armed robberies committed in Australia.
The Australian Institute of Criminology’s National Armed Robbery Monitoring Program (NARMP) is the only national dataset detailing armed robbery in Australia. Through this program the AIC has been collating and examining information on reported armed robbery victims and the characteristics of the crimes in which they were involved since 2003. This report is the first released after NARMP moved to biennial reporting and it summarises key findings from information describing the 12,005 victims reported to police in Australia during the 2009 and 2010 calendar years.
It is pleasing to note that armed robbery has continued to decrease, from a rate of victimisation of 33 persons per 100,000 in 2003 to a rate of 18 persons per 100,000 in 2010.
What is apparent from analyses of armed robberies that were able to be performed on this dataset is that there are particular victim, location and offender characteristics that tend to co-occur, suggesting there are a variety armed robbery types. This is an area requiring further investigation in order to better understand specific types of armed robbery and to better target prevention strategies. While limitations in the information able to be accessed has precluded more detailed assessments to date, NARMP will continue to aid crime prevention efforts through further examination of armed robbery types and of those factors that make some individuals and organisations more vulnerable to victimisation.
Finally, NARMP only exists through the ongoing cooperation and assistance of police in all Australian jurisdictions. The AIC is particularly grateful to those individuals within the statistical units of state and territory police services whose continued efforts directly support this program.
Dr Adam Tomison