Compiled by Natalie Yeung, Law student, University of Sydney


Incidence of Crime


  • While the volume and rate of individual crime types has fluctuated over the past few years, Australia’s crime rates have been decreasing (AIC, 2016: iii)
  • There was an 11% decrease in victims of robbery between the years 2013 to 2014, with only 11, 698 victims (AIC, 2016: iii)
  • Incidences of homicide decreased by 8% from 296 in 2011-2012 to 273 in 2012-2013. The rate of homicide is at a historical low at 1.2 per 100,000 people (AIC, 2016: iii)
  • While most incidences of crime are decreasing, there was a 7% increase in recorded victims of sexual assault and 3% increase in recorded victims of assault (AIC, 2016: iv).
  • You are more likely to be a victim of property crime rather than violent crime, but even rates of property crime decreased in 2012-2013 (AIC, 2016: iv)
  • Most juveniles are convicted for theft, acts intending to cause injury and illicit drug offences (AIC, 2016: iv).
  • Incidences of assault have fluctuated in the last decade, and peaked between 2007-2009. Since that time, the number of assaults have decreased by about 50,000 and in 2013 there were 119,235 assaults (AIC, 2016: 3)
  • Robbery has been consistently declining during the decade between 2003-2013; incidences of robbery have almost halved from 19,709 to 11,698 (AIC, 2016: 3).




  • People aged between 15 to 19 years are the most likely to commit crimes. The importance of implementing more developmental crime prevention strategies has never been more relevant (AIC, 2016: iv). 
  • In no category did the rate of juvenile female offending exceed that of male offending (AIC, 2016: 45).
  • 61% of adult male detainees charged with a violent offence as their most serious offence tested positive to some form of drug (AIC, 2016: 64).
  • In the past 10 years, the imprisonment rate per 100,000 adults has increased by 10% from 156 per 100,000 in 2003 to 172 per 100,000 in 2013 (AIC, 2016: 73).
  • In 2012-2013, 88% of sentences handed down in all courts were non-custodial (AIC, 2016: iv).
  • In 2013, males account for 92% of prisoners, while females only accounted for 8%. This is a ratio of 13 males sentenced to every 1 female (AIC, 2016: 74).
  • The indigenous imprisonment rate was 19 times higher than the non-indigenous rate in 2013. Indigenous prisoners comprise 27% of the total prisoner population (AIC, 2016: 75).
  • The number of offenders proceeded against by police in Australia during 2014-2015 increased by 2% (ABS, 2016).
  • The number of youth offenders proceeded against by police in Australia during 2014-2015 decreased by 3% (ABS, 2016).
  • In 2012-2013 $80,999 was spent per prisoner in Australia. The cost per person for having that same person in a community correction centre was only $8,384 (AIC, 2016: iv).



Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016, 4519.0 Recorded Crime – Offenders 2014-2015. Accessed from: [26 February 2016].

Australian Institute of Criminology 2016, Australian Crime: Facts and Figures 2014, prepared by the Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra. Accessed from: [26 February 2016]


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