Australian property crime continues to decline

Peter Terlato 3 February 2017

property crime

Malicious property damage sees greatest annual decrease.

The latest national crime figures reveal that over the last seven years there has been a general decline in household crime and face-to-face assaults in Australia.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) 2015/16 National Crime Victimisation Survey reports there has been no substantial change to the rate of personal and household crime in Australia in the last year.

However, since 2008/09 Australia has enjoyed a degeneration in face-to-face threatened assault and all selected household crime; including break-ins, attempted break-ins, motor vehicle theft, theft from a motor vehicle, malicious property damage and other theft.

Over the same period the rate of physical assault, non face-to-face threatened assault, robbery and sexual assault hasn't changed significantly.

In the 12 months prior to the study's interviews, 462,200 Australians aged 15 and over (2.4%) experienced at least one physical assault, 543,500 (2.9%) experienced at least one threatened assault, including face-to-face and non face-to-face threatened assaults, and 70,600 (0.4%) experienced at least one robbery.

Of those aged 18 and over, 77,400 (0.4%) experienced at least one sexual assault during the same period.

Nearly half (48%) of all physical assault victims experienced more than one incident, while nearly two thirds (64%) of threatened assault casualties suffered multiple incidents.

In the year leading up to the study, 434,000 (4.8%) Aussie households experienced at least one incident of malicious property damage, 264,400 (2.9%) experienced at least one theft from a motor vehicle, 238,900 (2.7%) experienced at least one other theft, 225,700 (2.5%) suffered at least one break-in, 185,900 (2.1%) experienced at least one attempted break-in and 48,600 (0.5%) had at least one vehicle stolen.

The rate of malicious property damage fell from 5.7% in 2014/15 to 4.8% in 2015/16.

In most cases of household crime, there was just a single incident over the 12 month period, which contrasts with personal crime, where people were more likely to experience multiple violations.

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