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Latest release

Criminal Courts, Australia methodology

Reference period
2018 - 2019
Released
27/02/2020
Next release Unknown
First release

Explanatory notes

Introduction

This publication presents information about defendants who were finalised in the criminal jurisdictions of the higher, Magistrates' and Children's Courts across Australian states and territories during the period 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019. Information is presented about the offences, case outcomes and sentences associated with these defendants.

Time series data are presented for 2010–11 onward. Additional data can be found in historical editions of this publication (via the ABS website): higher courts from 1995, Magistrates' Courts from 2003–04 (experimental data for 2001–02 and 2002–03 are also available), and the Children's Courts from 2006–07 (experimental data for 2005–06 are also available).

Data source

Statistics presented in this publication are compiled based on administrative unit record data supplied to the ABS by the agencies responsible for courts administration in each state and territory, with the exception of Queensland (where data are supplied via the Office of the Government Statistician), and New South Wales (where data are supplied via the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research).

In order to ensure consistency between the states and territories, each one is required to provide data coded to national classifications and standards. For more information see ‘Classifications’.

Scope and coverage

This publication presents statistics about persons and organisations whose cases have been finalised within the criminal jurisdictions of the higher, Magistrates' or Children's Courts during the reference period, with the exception of:

  • Persons under 10 years of age
  • Civil court matters
  • Appeal cases
  • Tribunal matters
  • Cases which do not require the adjudication of charges (e.g. bail reviews and applications to amend sentences or penalties)
  • Defendants for whom a bench warrant is issued but not executed
  • Finalisations in specialist courts, such as drug courts, electronic courts, fine recovery units and Indigenous courts
  • Pre-court diversionary programs (warnings, cautions, drug diversions, conferencing)
  • Bench warrants in the higher courts
  • Referrals to mental health review tribunals (e.g. for determination of fitness for trial).


The following offences (based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification, 2011 (ANZSOC) (cat. no. 1234.0)) are excluded:

  • Breach of home detention (1512)
  • Breach of suspended sentence (1513)
  • Breach of community service order (1521)
  • Breach of parole (1522)
  • Breach of bail (1523)
  • Breach of bond – probation (1524)
  • Breach of bond – other (1525)
  • Breach of community-based order – n.e.c. (1529).


The geographic definition of Australia, as used by the ABS, includes 'Other Territories'. Defendants finalised on Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island are included in the counts for Western Australia, where applicable. Defendants finalised in Jervis Bay Territory are not included.

Court levels

The higher, Magistrates' and Children's Courts deal with different types of matters. There are differences across states and territories in how the courts are structured and in the legislation that governs the types of offences that can be heard summarily or on indictment.

Higher courts

All states and territories have a Supreme Court that deals with the most serious criminal matters, generally referred to as an indictable offence (e.g. murder, manslaughter, serious sexual offences, assault, drug trafficking, robbery). The larger states (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia) also have an intermediate level of court, known as the District Court or County Court, which deal with the majority of serious offences. In this publication, the Supreme and intermediate courts are collectively referred to as the ‘higher courts’.

All defendants that are dealt with by the higher courts have an automatic entitlement to a trial before a judge and jury. In some states and territories, the defendant may elect to have their matters heard before a judge alone. Children treated as adults by the court may be included in the higher courts defendant counts.

Magistrates' Courts

The lowest level of criminal court is the Magistrates’ Court (also known as the Court of Summary Jurisdiction, Local Court or Court of Petty Sessions) which hears the majority of all criminal cases. Cases heard in the Magistrates’ Courts do not involve a jury, rather, a magistrate determines whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. This is known as a summary proceeding. Children treated as adults by the courts may also be finalised in the Magistrates' Courts.

Children's Courts

Each state and territory has Children's Courts to deal with offences alleged to have been committed by a child or juvenile. These courts mainly hear summary proceedings, but do have the power to hear indictable matters in some states and territories.

In all states and territories, a person can only be charged with a criminal offence where they are aged 10 years or over. Defendants are considered to be a child/juvenile where they are under 18 years of age at the time they committed an offence. Prior to February 2018, defendants in Queensland were considered to be a child/juvenile by the courts where they were aged under 17 years. Users are advised to exercise caution when comparing data by age across states and territories, or by court level in Queensland across the time series (see state/territory specific information).

Reference period

The statistics in this collection relate to defendants finalised during the reference period: 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

Classifications

Classifications provide a framework for organising and presenting data in a comparable and consistent manner. The classifications used for this collection are based upon the National Criminal Courts Data Dictionary, 2006 (cat. no. 4527.0). The Dictionary, which was developed by the National Criminal Courts Statistics Unit (NCCSU) of the ABS in collaboration with key stakeholders, defines national data items and concepts that underpin the ABS and Council of Australian Governments (CoAG) criminal courts collections.

The key classifications used for this collection are:

  • Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (Appendix 1)
  • Method of Finalisation Classification (Appendix 2)
  • Sentence Type Classification (Appendix 3).
     

ANZSOC

Offence data are presented according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC), 2011 (cat. no. 1234.0). Changes to this classification, since its first release as the Australian Standard Offence Classification 1997 (cat. no. 1234.0) (ASOC97), are described in a technical note in the 2008–09 issue of this publication.

For ease of reading, some ANZSOC offence names have been abbreviated throughout this publication as follows:

  • Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons appear as 'Dangerous/negligent acts'
  • Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person appear as 'Abduction/harassment'
  • Robbery, extortion and related offences appear as ‘Robbery/extortion’
  • Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter appear as 'Unlawful entry with intent'
  • Theft and related offences appear as ‘Theft’
  • Fraud, deception and related offences appear as ‘Fraud/deception’
  • Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences appear as 'Weapons/explosives'
  • Offences against justice procedures, government security and government operations appear as 'Offences against justice'.
     

Method of finalisation

Method of finalisation refers to how a criminal charge is concluded by a criminal court. The Method of Finalisation Classification (Appendix 2) contains the main categories of:

  • Adjudicated finalisation – judgement or decision by the court as to whether or not the defendant is guilty of the charge(s) against them.
  • Non-adjudicated finalisation – charge(s) considered to have been completed even though a judgement has not been handed down by the court (e.g. withdrawn by the prosecution, defendant deceased, unfit to plead, or transfers to non-court agencies).
  • Transfers to other court levels – court order for the criminal charge(s) to be transferred to another court level for adjudication or sentencing.
     

Sentence type

The Sentence Type Classification (Appendix 3) describes the types of sentences that are handed down by the court for offences proven guilty, including the main categories of:

  • Custodial orders – sentences that restrict the liberty of a defendant for a specified period of time (e.g. detainment in an institution or home, or regular supervision by corrections personnel while residing in the community).
  • Non-custodial orders – sentences that do not involve being held in custody (e.g. fines, community service orders, good behaviour bonds).


Defendants can receive:

  • A single sentence for a single offence proven guilty
  • A single sentence for multiple offences proven guilty
  • Multiple sentences for a single offence proven guilty
  • Multiple sentences for multiple offences proven guilty.


In some cases, defendants with a method of finalisation of 'not guilty by reason of mental illness/condition' may have some kind of sentence/order imposed. However, these sentences are not included in this collection.

Counting methodology

The principal counting unit for this collection is the finalised defendant.

A finalised defendant is defined as a person or organisation for whom all charges within a case have been formally completed so that they cease to be an active item of work for the court during the reference period.

The Criminal Courts collection does not enumerate unique persons, instead the following counting rules are applied:

  • Where a defendant is finalised for more than one case, on the same date and in the same court level, their records are merged and they are counted as one finalised defendant.
  • Where a defendant is finalised for more than one case, on separate dates within the reference period, they will be counted once for each date they were finalised.
  • Where a defendant is finalised in the Magistrates' Courts whilst other charges are committed to, and finalised in the higher courts, they will be counted once for each court level they were finalised in during the reference period.
     

Transfers

The following counting rules apply with regards to defendants transferred from, or between court levels:

  • Defendants transferred from one higher Court level to another higher Court level are considered as initiated only once (in the level they first entered) and finalised only once (from the level they finally left).
  • Defendants transferred from a Magistrates' Court to a higher Court (or vice versa) are considered as initiated twice (once in each of the courts) and finalised twice (once in each of the courts).
  • Defendants transferred between the Children's Courts and the Magistrates' or higher courts (or vice versa) are considered to be initiated twice (once in each of the courts) and finalised twice (once in each of the courts).
  • Defendants transferred from the Magistrates' or Children's Courts to specialist courts for finalisation (e.g. drug courts, Indigenous courts) are considered finalised (by transfer) in the criminal court that initiated the transfer. Defendants may then, upon completion of the program, return to the court that requested the transfer, for an additional finalisation.


Defendants with more serious offences (e.g. homicide and related offences, robbery/extortion or sexual assault and related offences) are more likely than other defendants to be transferred from the Magistrates' to the higher courts for adjudication or sentencing. This should be taken into consideration when interpreting the relative proportions of transfers and defendants proven guilty for these offences.

Data items

Defendants who were finalised for more than one offence during the reference period will have counting rules applied to determine their principal method of finalisation, offence, sentence type and other characteristics for inclusion in data tables.

Method of finalisation

For defendants who had multiple charges with varying outcomes, the method of finalisation is assigned based on the following order of precedence:

Higher courts:

  • Defendant deceased
  • Unfit to plead
  • Not guilty by reason of mental illness/condition
  • Guilty finding by court
  • Charge proven n.f.d.
  • Guilty plea by defendant
  • Acquitted by court
  • Charge unproven n.f.d.
  • Charge unproven n.e.c.
  • Transfer from a higher Court to a Magistrates' Court
  • Other transfer between court levels n.e.c.
  • Transfer to non-court agency
  • Withdrawn by the prosecution
  • Other non-adjudicated finalisation n.e.c.
  • Unknown/not stated.


Magistrates’ Courts:

  • Defendant deceased
  • Unfit to plead
  • Not guilty by reason of mental illness/condition
  • Guilty finding by court
  • Charge proven n.f.d.
  • Guilty plea by defendant
  • Guilty ex-parte
  • Acquitted by court
  • Charge unproven n.f.d.
  • No case to answer at committal
  • Charge unproven n.e.c.
  • Committed for trial
  • Transfer from a Magistrates' Court to a higher Court n.f.d.
  • Committed for sentence
  • Transfer from a Magistrates' Court to a higher Court n.e.c.
  • Other transfer between court levels n.e.c.
  • Transfer to non-court agency
  • Withdrawn by the prosecution
  • Other non-adjudicated finalisation n.e.c.
  • Unknown/not stated.


Children’s Courts:

  • Defendant deceased
  • Unfit to plead
  • Not guilty by reason of mental illness/condition
  • Guilty finding by court
  • Charge proven n.f.d.
  • Guilty plea by defendant
  • Guilty ex-parte
  • Acquitted by court
  • Charge unproven n.f.d.
  • No case to answer at committal
  • Charge unproven n.e.c.
  • Committed for trial
  • Transfer from a Children's Court to a higher court n.f.d.
  • Committed for sentence
  • Transfer from a Children's Court to a higher Court n.e.c.
  • Transfer from a Children's Court to a Magistrates' Court
  • Other transfer between court levels n.e.c.
  • Transfer to non-court agency
  • Withdrawn by the prosecution
  • Other non-adjudicated finalisation n.e.c.
  • Unknown/not stated.
     

Principal offence

The principal offence presented in this collection refers to the most serious offence (based on ANZSOC) associated with a finalised defendant. Where a defendant has been finalised for more than one offence type, the method of finalisation and National Offence Index (NOI) (cat. no.1234.0.55.001) – a ranking of offences based on the concept of 'offence seriousness' – are used to determine the principal offence. The following rules apply:

  • For defendants finalised with a single offence, this is their principal offence.
  • For defendants with multiple charges with differing methods of finalisation, the principal offence is selected based on the following order of precedence:
    • Defendant deceased, unfit to plead, or not guilty by reason of mental illness
    • Charges proven
    • Charges not proven
    • Transfer of charges
    • Charges withdrawn
    • Other non-adjudicated finalisation
    • Unknown/not stated.


For example, for a defendant finalised as ‘charges proven’ for an assault offence, and ‘charges not proven’ for a robbery offence, their principal offence would be the assault.

Where a defendant has multiple charges, each with the same method of finalisation, the NOI is used to determine the principal offence (i.e. the charge with the highest ranked ANZSOC code on the NOI).

Where the defendant has an offence that is unable to be determined via the NOI (e.g. due to missing offence information) the principal offence is coded to 'not able to be determined'.

The rules underpinning the NOI, in particular defining 'offence seriousness' and the impact of this definition on the ranking of offences, need to be considered when using the principal offence data in this publication.

For data prior to 2007–08, a principal offence was only calculated for defendants whose charges were adjudicated.

Sentence information

Sentence information is presented in this publication in the following two ways:

  • Principal sentence
  • Sentence length and fine amount (i.e. ‘quantum’).
     

Principal sentence

Defendants with more than one sentence type (for either a single offence or multiple offences) are assigned a principal sentence, which is intended to reflect the most serious sentence based on the hierarchy of the Sentence Type Classification (Appendix 3).

In most cases, the principal sentence will be associated with the principal offence (that is, the most serious sentence handed down for the most serious offence). However, because the principal sentence is assigned independently of offence information, it is possible for this not to be the case (i.e. where the most serious offence proven guilty has not incurred the most serious/largest sentence).

Analysis indicates that the overall number of instances where the principal offence and principal sentence do not align is small and mostly occurs within ANZSOC Divisions 04 Dangerous/negligent acts and 11 Weapons/explosives. Users should note this in regards to data tables presenting principal offence and principal sentence. Tables containing sentence quantum present the offence directly associated with the principal sentence.

It should also be noted that there are some differences in the availability and application of sentence types across states and territories, and over time (see state/territory specific information), which should be taken into consideration when interpreting sentence data.

Sentence length and fine amount (i.e. quantum)

The sentence length and fine amount (i.e. quantum) data presented in this publication represents the most severe penalty dealt to a defendant who was proven guilty (excluding life and indeterminate imprisonment). This is determined using the Sentence Type Classification (Appendix 3) and the largest sentence length, or fine amount (quantum) dealt for that sentence.

Data items derived from a finalised defendant

Where a defendant has been dealt the same principal sentence and quantum value for more than one offence, the most serious offence (based on ANZSOC), referred to as the ‘principal proven offence’ in the relevant tables, is assigned to the defendant based on the National Offence Index (see ‘Principal offence’).

Further information on principal sentence and quantum

This section contains additional information in regards to sentencing practices that should be taken into consideration when interpreting data about principal sentence and sentence length or fine amount presented within this publication.

There are some differences across states and territories in the sentence length data for ‘custody in a correctional institution’, due to whether the time a defendant spends in custody prior to sentencing (i.e. ‘time already served’) is included or not.

These differences likely impact the comparability of data across the states/territories (i.e. where inclusion of ‘time already served’ in quantum may result in longer sentence length data), and should be taken into consideration when comparing quantum information for custodial sentences.

‘Global’ or multi-offence sentences refer to instances where a single sentence type (including associated quantum) applies to more than one offence. This sentencing practice is used in some states and territories and may result in overstated quantum information (i.e. sentence length or fine amount) for the associated offence (i.e. the quantum is actually associated with more than the one offence).

Concurrent sentences refer to sentences that commence at the same time, whereas cumulative sentences are served one after the other.

  • Where a defendant is found guilty for more than one offence, either a concurrent or cumulative sentence may be imposed
  • For either sentence type, the published quantum value (i.e. the sentence length or fine amount) is the largest value associated with the principal sentence.


A non-parole period is the minimum amount of time that a prisoner will be detained before being eligible to be released on parole. Specific offences may have a legislated non-parole period, referred to as a 'minimum sentence'. For these sentences, the sentence length presented is the total period of the sentence imposed, not the 'minimum sentence'.

A defendant sentenced to imprisonment with a partially suspended term must be detained in prison for part of the specified term of the sentence, with the remainder of the term suspended on the condition that the defendant will be of good behaviour and can also include other conditions such as attendance at rehabilitation or education programs. Sentence length data for partially suspended sentences reflects the full period of imprisonment (i.e. the period suspended and the period in custody).

Life and indeterminate sentences are the most serious forms of imprisonment. Life imprisonment can result in the defendant being imprisoned for the term of their natural life, or they may have a minimum time to serve specified by the court or administrative body (e.g. a Parole Board). Indeterminate sentences do not have a prescribed minimum term to serve and the actual term may be subject to a ministerial or other administrative decision. Given these sentence types do not necessarily have an associated sentence length, they have been excluded from sentence quantum data in this collection. However, the impact of this is very small (usually less than one percent of all defendants sentenced to custody have one of these sentence types).

Compound (or ‘complex’) sentences can be broadly defined as sentences, served in the community, that include various components, elements, or conditions, such as program attendance, community work, drug or alcohol treatment, counselling and education. These sentences are becoming increasingly common across states and territories due to their flexibility, with judges/magistrates being able to tailor a sentence to suit the particular circumstances of an offender and the severity of their offences, whilst providing for both restitution and rehabilitative sentencing principles.

Western Australia was the first of all states and territories to introduce ‘compound sentencing’ (in 1995) and since then, various other types have been implemented across Australia, including Community Corrections Orders (CCOs) Intensive Corrections Orders (ICOs) and Intensive Supervision Orders (ISOs).

Given the flexibility of the conditions imposed as part of a compound sentence, there is currently no single sentence in the Sentence Type Classification (Appendix 3) that accurately and comparably reflects these sentences. As such, sentence data presented in this publication should be interpreted with caution.

Duration

This ‘duration’ information presented is a measure of court timeliness representing the time taken (in days) between the date a defendant’s case(s) was initiated in court and the date they ceased to be an item of work for the court as follows:

Duration = Date of finalisation – Date of initiation + 1

Note that duration data for New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Western Australia (prior to 2013–14) are derived on a different basis (see state/territory specific information).

Indigenous status

This publication presents data on the Indigenous status of defendants finalised in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory. Based on ABS assessment, Indigenous status data for other states and territories are not of sufficient quality and/or did not meet ABS standards for national reporting in 2017–18. The ABS continues to work towards improving the quality and coverage of Indigenous status data for this collection.

Indigenous status data are based on information collected and recorded by police and transferred from the police to courts systems (upon defendant initiation in the courts). The police information is based upon self-identification by the individual (or via a response from next of kin/guardian). As such, the quality of the Indigenous status data presented in this publication is dependent on police seeking and recording this information, and whether it can be transferred to the courts administrative systems.

Defendants proceeded against for traffic offences often do not have Indigenous status information recorded (due to these offences usually being dealt with via fines issued by road traffic authorities). As such, Dangerous or negligent operation of a vehicle (ANZSOC Subdivision 041) and Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences (ANZSOC Division 14) and are excluded from Indigenous status tables and associated commentary presented in this publication.

Other offences that may be actioned by prosecuting agencies other than police (and therefore likely have low quality Indigenous status information), include: public order offences, offences against justice, and miscellaneous offences. This should be taken into account when comparing the Indigenous status of defendants for these offence categories.

Rate of defendants finalised

The rate of defendants finalised is expressed as the number of defendants (excluding organisations) per 100,000 of the ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP), for persons aged 10 years and over. The ERP used in these calculations are taken at the mid-point of the relevant reference period (e.g. 31 December 2018 for the 2018–19 reference period). Rates presented by sex and age are based on ERP for the relevant sex or age group. For more information on ERP, see Australian Demographic Statistics, December Quarter, 2018 (cat. no. 3101.0).

Crude rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants are expressed per 100,000 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population (aged 10 years and over) as at 31 December, 2018 and are based on Series B Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 to 2031 (cat. no. 3238.0).

In this release, historical rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous defendants have been revised using the updated projections from Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 to 2031 (cat. no. 3238.0).

Rates for the non-Indigenous population are calculated using the total ERP for persons aged 10 years and over for the relevant state or territory minus the projected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population (aged 10 years and over).

Age standardised rates have been included to account for age differences between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations, with the former having a much larger concentration of their ERP aged between 10–29 years.

Download

The standard population used for age standardisation is the total Australian ERP at 30 June 2001. The standard population is revised every twenty five years. The next revision will be based on final estimates from the 2026 Census of Population and Housing.

All ERP estimates and projections for Australia exclude the external territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Jervis Bay Territory. For more information on ERP, see Australian Demographic Statistics, December quarter, 2018 (cat. no. 3101.0).

Comparability

National standards and classifications are used in this collection to produce nationally comparable data (refer to Classifications). However, various factors can impact data quality and comparability, including:

  • Challenges with meeting national standards due to courts data systems being designed for the purpose of administration of court business (as opposed to national statistical purposes)
  • Modification over time to data systems and methodology used to extract/compile data
  • Refinements to data quality procedures
  • Legislative or operational differences across states and territories (e.g. differences in the types of sentencing options available to the courts).


Refer to State/territory specific information for further details relating to data comparability.

Comparisons to other ABS data

Some broad comparisons of data within this collection and other ABS crime and justice publications can be made e.g. basic person demographics or overall trends in offence types. However such comparisons are limited. For example, these courts data can be broadly compared with the number of court initiated police proceedings, presented in Recorded Crime – Offenders, Australia (cat. no. 4519.0). However, the data in the two collections are not strictly comparable because:

  • Not all court related actions initiated by police will proceed to a criminal court (e.g. charges may be withdrawn or changed by police during the course of an investigation).
  • Prosecutions in a criminal court may be initiated by authorities other than police.
  • Time lags may occur between the police initiations (to court) and the finalisation of the defendant's matter(s) in court.
     

Comparisons to non-ABS sources

The data in this publication may not be comparable to data published in other national and state/territory publications due to differing scope and counting rules.

Report on Government Services

The Report on Government Services (RoGS), commissioned by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), provides information on the performance of Australian state and territory government services, including courts. The RoGS report provides some information that is comparable to this collection, with both reports using the same national classifications and standards (based on the Criminal Courts Data Dictionary – see ‘Classifications’).

However, the focus of the two collections differs. The Courts chapter in the RoGS focuses on the efficiency and effectiveness of the administration of the courts, including workload indicators and financial information; whilst this publication focusses on the characteristics of finalised defendants (e.g. demographics, offences and sentences).

Further, there are some differences in the counting rules adopted by both collections (which result in different defendant counts) as follows:

Both collections have the ‘finalised defendant’ as a counting unit, however:

  • The RoGS collection defines a defendant as: ‘a person with one or more charges and with all charges having the same date of registration’; while the ABS collection defines a defendant as ‘a person or organisation against whom one or more criminal charges have been laid and which are heard together as one unit of work by a court at a particular level’. This difference means that the count of finalised defendants can be lower in the ABS collection when compared to RoGS.
  • The ABS data are further aggregated to create a 'merged’ finalised defendant (see ‘Counting methodology’).
  • The RoGS data counts both lodgements and finalisations.


Transfers between higher court levels: defendants transferred between higher court levels (e.g. from an intermediate court to the Supreme Court) would be counted as two finalisations in the RoGS collection (one in each of the two higher court levels); and once in the ABS collection (from the court level they finally left). As a result, the combined intermediate and Supreme Court finalisations data in the RoGS will be higher than the ABS higher courts data.

In regards to timeliness measures, both the RoGS and ABS data contain measures of court timeliness. The ABS presents a ‘duration’ measure (see ‘Duration’), while RoGS reports the backlog in a court's workload, as a percentage of the pending caseload (at 30 June).

State/territory specific information

This section describes state and territory specific events or processes (e.g. recording practices or legislation changes) that may impact on the comparability of state and territory data presented in this publication. Users should take these differences into consideration when comparing data across the states and territories, or over time.

Changes impacting all states/territories

From 2014–15 onwards, offences relating to section 47BA of the Road Traffic Act 1961 ‘driving with prescribed drug in oral fluid or blood’ have been coded to ANZSOC Group 1431 Exceed the prescribed content of alcohol or other substance limit. Prior to this, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia had been coding these offences to ANZSOC Group 0411 Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances, despite the legislation not specifying whether the offence involved dangerous driving. Users are advised not to make direct comparisons between the number of defendants finalised for ANZSOC Divisions 04 Dangerous/negligent acts or 14 Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences across the aforementioned states and territories and across the time series, prior to 2014–15.

New South Wales

Duration data for the Magistrates' and Children's Courts are based on the date of first appearance rather than the date of registration, as date of registration is not captured in the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research's system (from which New South Wales courts data are derived). As such, the median duration in New South Wales Magistrates’ and Children’s Courts may be lower than in some other states and territories. This issue does not impact the higher courts data.

Sentence length for fully suspended sentences reflects the period over which the defendant must maintain good behaviour (i.e. the bond/recognizance duration), as opposed to the length of the imprisonment order that was suspended (as per ABS counting rules). For fully suspended sentences imposed for offences under the Commonwealth Crimes Act, it is possible for the bond portion to exceed the length of the imprisonment, which impacts approximately one-third of fully suspended sentences imposed for these offences.

New South Wales legislation does not contain discrete offences of stalking, intimidation and harassment (as per ANZSOC categories), and so all such offences are coded to ANZSOC Group 0291 Stalking. Therefore, in data from 2010–11, Stalking offences may be overstated, and ANZSOC Division 05 Abduction/harassment may be understated.

Sentence reforms were introduced in New South Wales on 24 September 2018. Intensive Correction Orders were reformed, allowing for a range of conditions to be imposed, including home detention and community service work. Suspended sentences were repealed, as were home detention and community service orders as individual sentences. Good behaviour bonds and non-conviction bonds were also repealed, replaced by community correction orders and conditional release orders. The new sentencing options cover a range of conditions which can be imposed in various combinations and systems and procedures have been updated to allow for the capture of these conditions. These changes have contributed to noticeable increases in custody in the community and community supervision/work orders and noticeable decreases in fully suspended sentences, fines and other non-custodial orders between 2017–18 and 2018–19. Users are therefore advised not to make direct comparisons with previous years.

In September 2017, the Judicial Commission of New South Wales reclassified a number of local Law Part codes to different ANZSOC codes to improve data quality, most notably knife offences under the Summary Offences Act 1988. These updates impacted several ANZSOC categories in the 2015–16 and 2016–17 data (presented in the 2016–17 publication), but most notably the number of defendants with a principal offence of ANZSOC Division 11 Weapons/explosives nearly doubled; and there was a consequential decrease in defendants with a principal offence of ANZSOC Division 13 Public order offences and Division 16 Miscellaneous offences. Comparisons between this data for 2014–15 and subsequent years is not advised.

From late 2012, the New South Wales District Court started hearing Workplace Health and Safety prosecutions (previously dealt with by the Industrial Relations Commission), offences which can attract significant monetary penalties. The impact of this was: an increase in finalised defendants in the higher courts between 2013–14 and 2014–15; and notable increases in mean and median fine amounts for ANZSOC Division 16 Miscellaneous offences (over the same periods).

Victoria

Community service is a sentencing option in the Children’s Courts as part of a Youth Attendance Order or Youth Supervision Order. The community service component of these orders, however, is recorded as a free text field in the data management system, and is therefore not able to be extracted for inclusion in the Victorian Children’s Courts sentencing data.

The commencement of the Fines Reform Act in December 2017 saw a substantial change in legislation which governs how an infringement matter is commenced in the Magistrates’ Court. This has resulted in a decrease of defendants finalised in the Magistrates’ Court, particularly for traffic offences and tolling offences.

In January 2017, the Victorian Children’s Courts rolled out a state-wide Children’s Courts Youth Diversion (CCYD) service, following a 12 month pilot. The diversion program is targeted at young people that are charged with low level offences, have little or no criminal history, and who would otherwise have been sentenced to an outcome not requiring supervision. This may have contributed to the decrease in defendants finalised in the Children’s Courts during 2017–18, impacting age, duration and principal sentence data.

In 2016–17, offences proceeded against under the Eastlink Project Act were re-coded from ANZSOC Group 1311 Trespass to 1439 Regulatory driving offences, in order to improve data quality and comparability.

For all years prior to 2016–17, the number of defendants acquitted in the Victorian Magistrates’ and Children’s Courts are overstated, while those proven guilty and sentenced to a nominal penalty are understated. This resulted from both outcome types being recorded as ‘dismissed’ on the Victorian Court link system and thereby coded to a method of finalisation of acquitted within the historical criminal courts data.

Suspended sentences ceased to be a sentencing option in Victoria in the County and Supreme Court on 1 September 2013, and the Magistrates’ Court on 1 September 2014. This resulted in a decrease in suspended sentences from 2014–15 and increases in other principal sentence types.

In January 2012, changes to the Sentencing Act removed the Victorian Court's ability to impose the following sentences: community-based orders, intensive corrections orders, combined custody and treatment orders or home detention orders. These were replaced by a new Community Correction Order (CCO) which can contain a number of conditions.

In 2012–13, the order was mapped to Community service orders, even though not all instances required unpaid community work.

In 2013–14, Victoria provided all components of these orders with each condition mapped to a corresponding sentence in the ABS Sentence type classification. This allowed the ABS to derive one of these components as the principal sentence (in most cases this is a community service order). There was an initial decrease in defendants with a principal sentence of community service order, and an increase in intensive corrections orders, probation orders and treatment orders. However it should be noted that as only one component of the CCO is selected as the principal sentence, this may not reflect all aspects of the imposed order. This has resulted in Victoria having a higher proportion of community service orders compared to other states and territories.

Queensland

In February 2018, the Youth Justice (Transitional) Regulation commenced, with the age range for the youth justice system now including 17 year olds. This regulation resulted in the transfer of 17 year olds from:

  • Court proceedings in the Magistrates' Courts to the youth justice system
  • Community based orders to Youth Justice supervision
  • Adult custody to youth detention, where this is in best interest/safety of the child.


These changes have resulted in:

  • An increase in the number of defendants finalised during 2017–18 in the Magistrates courts, via a transfer to the Children’s Courts
  • An increase in the number of defendants finalised in the Children's Courts during 2018–19
  • A subsequent decrease in the number of defendants aged 17 years being finalised in the Magistrates’ Courts during 2018–19.


In Queensland, a defendant can elect to have a summary offence transferred to the higher courts (with the consent of the court), where they have also been charged with an indictable offence in the same incident, so the matter(s) can be sentenced at the same time. For the 2017–18 release of this publication, these types of transfers were included in the Queensland data for the first time, following improvements to administrative systems. This resulted in an increase in transfers from Magistrates’ Courts to the higher courts for Queensland during 2017–18, and therefore users are advised to exercise caution when comparing transfers data in Queensland (and Australia) with data prior to 2017–18.

From July 2017, Townsville City Council ceased lodging unpaid traffic infringements with the Queensland criminal courts, instead referring these matters to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER). This process change contributed to a decrease in the number of defendants finalised for Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences in the Magistrates’ Courts from 2017–18.

Prior to 2015–16, Queensland was not able to provide detailed data on defendants proven guilty. Therefore, users are advised to avoid making historical comparisons using previous editions of this publication for defendants with a method of finalisation of guilty plea by defendant, guilty finding by court, or guilty ex-parte.

South Australia

In March 2018, the Summary Procedure (Indictable Offences) Amendment Act 2017 commenced. This led to a number of process changes which contributed to an increase in case duration and fewer cases heard in the higher courts. Users are advised to exercise caution when making comparisons between 2018–19 and previous years.

The introduction of adult cautioning by South Australia Police in December 2016 reduced the number of court lodgements of minor criminal matters, including matters that would have been heard and determined by Special Justices, and those heard in the Early Resolution Court (which has ceased to operate). As a result, there have been notable decreases in the number of defendants finalised for minor criminal matters (such as traffic and vehicle regulatory offences) and in associated duration information, in the 2017–18 data.

In May 2016, the Statutes Amendment (Home Detention) Act, 2016 came into effect in South Australia, with provisions relevant to the Magistrates’ Court commencing on September 1, 2016. The Act, aimed at improving rehabilitation and reducing recidivism, established home detention as an alternative to a custodial sentence that may be imposed for selected offences.

The number of finalised defendants have decreased from 2014–15, due to changes arising from the Statutes Amendments (Fines Enforcement and Recovery) Act 2013, which came into effect on 3 February 2014. The Act transferred responsibility for the collection and enforcement of fines from the Courts Administration Authority to the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit (managed by the South Australian Attorney-General’s Department).This resulted in decreases in defendants finalised, particularly those with a guilty ex-parte finding for a principal offence of ANZSOC Division 14 Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences with a principal sentence of a fine.

For 2013–14, changes were made to how sentence length was determined for partially and fully suspended sentences, to align with national standards. Prior to this, only the imprisonment portion was included for partially suspended sentences and only the good behaviour bond component was included for fully suspended sentences. These changes resulted in increased sentence lengths for partially suspended sentences, and decreases for fully suspended sentences in 2013–14.

Western Australia

In Western Australia the President of the Children’s Court is a judge who has the same powers of sentencing as a Supreme Court judge, and therefore can deal with all offences and impose both juvenile and adult penalties on an offender.

From 2016–17 to 2017–18, median duration decreased from 6.6 to 3.7 weeks. This is likely to be due in part to greater use of electronic lodgement processes for initiating Court actions.

Western Australian data for 2016–17 have been revised. For a small number of defendants with an offence under the Road Traffic Act 59BA 'careless driving causing death, grievous bodily harm or bodily harm', their reported offence was revised from ANZSOC Group 0132 Driving causing death to 0412 Dangerous or negligent operation (driving) of a vehicle.

For 2013–14 onwards, date of initiation for the Magistrates' and Children's Courts is based on date of registration (as per national reporting standards). Previously, the date of first appearance was provided.

In November 2013, Western Australian Magistrates' and Children's Courts data were migrated to the Integrated Courts Management System. This system has different data entry and extraction procedures from the previous recording system, but is able to produce more accurate data on defendants who were proven guilty ex-parte, acquitted, transferred or had their case withdrawn by the prosecution.

For 2012–13, changes were made to the data reported for compound (or complex) sentencing options. Compound sentences, used in Western Australia since 1995, are Community Based Orders which comprise several components: curfew, supervision (probation), community work or a program condition. Prior to 2012–13, intensive supervision orders’ (both adult and juvenile), were coded to ‘community work’ and community based orders were coded to ‘probation’ (as per national standards). In 2012–13, all components of compound sentences were provided to the ABS, making it possible to derive a Principal sentence from these. This change resulted in an increase in the principal sentence of community service orders and a decrease in probation orders. This has resulted in a higher proportion of community service orders in Western Australia compared to other states and territories.

Tasmania

Reported finalisations for 2018–19 assigned a principal method of finalisation of ‘211 committed to a higher court for trial’ include matters where lesser charges were Adjourned Sine Die by the Magistrates Court. The reported finalisations therefore better reflects the output of the Magistrates Court and lodgements to the Supreme Court of Tasmania. Prior to 2018-19, reported finalisations assigned a principal method of finalisation of ‘211’ excluded matters where lesser charges were Adjourned Sine Die by the Magistrates Court. Data published prior to 2018–19 is therefore potentially not comparable with 2018–19 data. It is estimated that 164 defendants, including 148 defendants assigned a principal method of finalisation of ‘211’, were impacted by this change.

The Sentencing Amendment (Phasing out of suspended sentences) Act 2017 came into effect in December, 2017. This introduced new alternatives to suspended sentences such as Home Detention and Community Corrections Orders, impacting on the number of defendants sentenced to a fully suspended sentence and/or community supervision/work order. Users are advised to exercise caution when making comparisons with data prior to 2018–19.

Improvements were made to the coding of method of finalisation data in Tasmania's Magistrates' Courts data during 2018–19, impacting on the number of defendants finalised with charges not proven and/or matters withdrawn by the prosecution. Users are advised to exercise caution when making comparisons across years.

Following system improvements, Tasmanian higher courts data about sentence length and fine amount are now available and have been included for the first time in the 2018–19 release of this publication.

Sentence length data for good behaviour bonds are unavailable for Tasmania.

The Tasmanian Police Prosecutions undertook a clearing of their case backlog during 2017–18. This resulted in a large increase in the number of defendants who had matters referred to (and finalised in) the Magistrates’ Courts over the period, and mostly impacted data for non-adjudicated finalisations (and to a lesser extent, duration and principal offence data). Users are advised to use caution when making comparisons across years.

During 2014–15 and 2015–16, a number of archival cases were officially closed off in the Magistrates' Court system, with these defendants finalised as ‘charges unproven not elsewhere classified’. This resulted in increases in the method of finalisation of acquitted, and duration data.

Northern Territory

Date of initiation in Magistrates’ and Children’s Courts is based on the earliest of: the date the case was filed, the date the case was created or the date of first appearance.

In 2018–19, data quality improvements have been made to better classify defendants who were previously categorised with a method of finalisation of ‘charges proven, not further defined’. This has resulted in increases in defendants with a method of finalisation of either ‘guilty finding by the court’ or ‘guilty plea by defendant’. Caution should be used when making comparisons for these categories across years.

From 2018–19, payment of court costs/levies are now categorised as a sentence type of ‘nominal penalty’, rather than ‘other monetary orders, not elsewhere classified’ (as done previously), and has resulted in an increase in the nominal penalty sentence type for the period. This represents an improvement in data quality.

From March 2016, police in the Northern Territory issue on-the-spot fines for long-term unlicensed and unregistered drivers. These were offences previously dealt with by the courts. This resulted in a decrease in defendants with a principal offence in ANZSOC Division 14 Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences from 2016–17.

In 2012, the Magistrates’ Courts started to hear minor matters ex-parte (instead of issuing bench warrants) if the defendant did not appear for the court hearing. This resulted in an increase of guilty ex-parte finalisations within this court level from 2011–12.

In 2011–12 and 2012–13, a joint project was undertaken between the Northern Territory Department of the Attorney-General and Justice and police to clear up historic outstanding warrants and summons matters. This resulted in increases in: the number of finalisations, duration, cases withdrawn by the prosecution, and defendants with unknown Indigenous status.

Australian Capital Territory

In 2018, ACT Courts records were migrated to the Integrated Court Management System which has different data entry and extraction procedures from the previous recording system. This includes a change to the way defendants are consolidated in the system (such as the removal of duplicate defendant records), which has resulted in a significant reduction in the overall finalised defendant counts for 2018–19. There is also greater variance in some finer level disaggregation (e.g. the experimental family and domestic violence data set). Future data reported will be monitored to further understand and quantify the impact from the system change. In the meantime, comparison of 2018–19 data with previous years should be treated with caution.

For 2018–19, an improvement in the recording of sentence type has resulted in an increase in defendants coded to ‘Other monetary orders n.e.c.’. For previous years, these have been included as part of the fine category.

Prior to 2016–17, sentence quantum data was extracted and aggregated manually from the Law Courts and Tribunal Management system. From 2016–17, this process has been automated, resulting in improved data quality.

During 2016–17, the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions placed increased focus on resolving outstanding charges, resulting in an increase in defendants whose charges were withdrawn by the prosecution, and in median duration for 2016–17.

In 2014–15, amendments were made to the coding of some local offences (to the ANZSOC) in order to improve comparability with the other states/territories. Most notably, driving offences that did not result in a fatality (previously coded to ANZSOC Group 0132 Driving causing death) were remapped to ANZSOC Group 0412 Dangerous or negligent operation of a vehicle.

In 2010–11, three acting judges were appointed to assist with the backlog of cases in the Supreme Court, resulting in a notable increase in cases finalised over that year.

Confidentiality of tabular data

The Census and Statistics Act 1905 provides the authority for the ABS to collect statistical information, and requires that statistical output shall not be published or disseminated in a manner that is likely to enable the identification of a particular person or organisation. To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique called perturbation is used to randomly adjust cell values and summary variables. This technique, used for the first time for the 2013–14 publication, involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics.

The result of perturbation is that a given published cell value will be consistent across all tables, but the sum of the components of a total will not necessarily be the same as the published total, in some tables. As such, proportions may add to more or less than 100%. Readers are advised to use the published totals rather than deriving totals based on the component cells. Cells with small values may be proportionally more affected by perturbation than large values. Users are advised against conducting analyses and drawing conclusions based on small values.

Perturbation has been applied to all data presented in this publication (excluding the experimental FDV data cube, which utilises a different method) as well as data from 2010–11 onwards. Prior to 2013–14, a different confidentiality technique was used and therefore there may be small differences between historical data presented in the 2013–14 issue onwards and those published in previous issues.

Explanatory notes for experimental family and domestic violence statistics

This release presents experimental statistics about defendants who have been finalised in the higher, Magistrates’ and Children’s Courts for at least one selected family and domestic violence (FDV) offence (see ‘What FDV offences are presented?’).

This release also includes, for the first time, additional data relating to defendants who were finalised for an offence of ‘FDV related breach of violence order’.

Reference period

Data are presented about defendants finalised between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 for all states and territories except South Australia (see state/territory specific issues).

What is FDV?

There is no single nationally or internationally agreed definition of ‘family and domestic violence’, and the terminology used to refer to ‘FDV behaviours’ varies across policy, legislative, service provision, and research contexts. Further, definitions and understandings of FDV have (and may continue) to evolve, including the behaviours and/or relationship types that are considered to be familial or domestic in nature.

FDV can include a wide range of violent and non-violent abusive behaviours or threats, such as:

  • Physical and sexual violence or abuse
  • Emotional and psychological abuse
  • Verbal abuse and intimidation
  • Economic abuse
  • Social deprivation and controlling behaviours
  • Damage of personal property
  • Abuse of power.


The types of relationships involved in FDV can include (but are not limited to):

  • Intimate partner relationships
  • Other family and co-habitation relationships
  • Siblings
  • Children
  • Carer relationships
  • Cultural and kinship relationships
  • Foster care relationships
  • Blood relatives who do not co-habit.


Differences in the state and territory legislation used to determine the types of behaviours and relationships that constitute a family and domestic violence offence should be taken into account when interpreting data in this publication (see ‘How is FDV defined in this publication?’).

How is FDV defined in this publication?

The FDV data published in this collection are based on information recorded in the state and territory court administrative systems. FDV offences are identified based on an indicator (or ‘flag’) that is recorded by either the police and/or courts, as follows:

  • In Victoria, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania, police officers flag FDV offences, following investigation/charging, on their crime recording systems. This is transferred through to courts administrative systems.
  • In New South Wales and Queensland, FDV offences are identified based on FDV-specific legislation and are flagged either by police or when the matter is dealt with by the court. The related legislation includes:
     
    • In New South Wales: Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW)
    • In Queensland:
       
      • s47 (9) of the Justices Act 1886 (for charges lodged in the Magistrates’ Courts)
      • s564 (3A) of the Criminal Code Act 1899 (for indictments lodged in the Supreme and District Court)
      • Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012
      • Criminal Law (Domestic Violence) Amendment Act 2016.
         
  • In the Australian Capital Territory, FDV offences are identified and flagged either by police (following investigation/charging), or where the court list hearing type is ‘Family Violence’ (FV).
     

Given these differences in how FDV offences are identified or defined, direct comparisons of the state/territory FDV data presented in this publication should not be made.

Further, the comparability of FDV data may vary across time periods, both within and across states and territories due to a number of factors including:

  • Differences or changes in state/territory police/court operations and business rules
  • Differences in state/territory legislation with regard to the relationships and/or offences that are defined as FDV
  • Differences or changes in the reporting behaviour of victims and/or
  • Limitations in the quality or availability of data recorded on police and courts administrative systems.
     

What FDV offences are presented?

For the purposes of this publication, FDV offences are limited to the following ANZSOC Division/Sub-division offences:

  • 01 Homicide and related offences (011 Murder, 012 Attempted murder and 013 Manslaughter and driving causing death)
  • 02 Acts intended to cause injury (021 Assault and 029 Other acts intended to cause injury)
  • 03 Sexual assault and related offences (031 Sexual assault and 032 Non-assaultive sexual offences)
  • 049 Other dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons
  • 05 Abduction/harassment (051 Abduction and kidnapping, 052 Deprivation of liberty and 053 Harassment and threatening behaviour)
  • 121 Property damage
  • 1531 Breach of violence order.
     

Refer to Appendix 1 for the full ANZSOC classification.

It should be noted that the differences in how FDV offences are identified, charged by police and dealt with in the courts system (described above) can impact on the offence data presented in this publication. For example, the way in which breach of violence orders are charged and prosecuted by police can differ across states and territories, thereby resulting in issues of data comparability for the breach offences, as well as other associated offence data.

Counting methodology

The principal counting unit for the experimental FDV statistics presented in this publication (as per the main suite of information) is the finalised defendant – a person for whom all charges in a case have been formally completed in one or more court levels during the reference period. Specifically, this refers to any defendant who has been finalised for at least one FDV related offence during the reference period.

Where a defendant has had multiple FDV offences finalised on the same day during the reference period within the same court level, they will be counted once and assigned a principal FDV offence based on their most serious method of finalisation and the National Offence Index (NOI) (cat no. 1234.0.55.001). The exception to this is the ‘Breach of violence order offences’ section – see ‘FDV related breach of violence orders’methodology below.

Where a defendant had multiple FDV offences finalised on different days or within different court levels, during the reference period, they will be counted once for each date and/or court level in which they were finalised and are assigned a principal FDV offence for each finalisation.

Non-FDV offences (i.e. those that are not flagged) are excluded from the experimental statistics prior to the ranking of the most serious offence. As such, FDV principal offence data are not directly comparable with principal offence data presented elsewhere in this publication.

To enable comparison, the total number of defendants finalised for each of the selected offences are presented in Data Cube 14 – FDV Table 1, alongside a proportion of those which were FDV related.

The additional ‘FDV related breach of violence order’ data in this release is intended to inform the growing need for statistics relating to FDV in the national policy and service space. These data complement similar information included in the ABS Recorded Crime, Offenders, Australia (cat. no. 4519.0) collection.

In the Criminal Courts publication, FDV defendants are counted in the same manner as the general defendant population (see ‘Counting methodology’). Using this methodology, the true measure of FDV related breach offences is underestimated because these offences are often dealt with alongside other ‘more serious’ FDV related offences (e.g. assault), which are usually selected as the principal FDV offence for the defendant.

In order to present a more complete picture of the number of breach of FDV violence order offences being finalised in Australian criminal courts, the new breach data includes all defendants who were finalised (within the reference period) for at least one FDV related breach of violence order, irrespective of any other offences (FDV or non-FDV) for which they were also finalised at the same time.

The following table displays the total number of defendants with at least one FDV related breach of violence order finalised in the reference period, and those for whom the Breach of violence order was their principal FDV related offence.

NSWVic.QldWATas.NTACT
Defendants with at least one Breach of violence order9,5228,60113,0372,7549971,854129
Defendants with principal offence of Breach of violence order4,7025,16011,1182,4296261,17690
% assigned as Principle offence49.460.085.388.262.863.469.8


These results highlight potential differences across the states and territories in how these breach offences are recorded by police and/or the courts, and as such, users are advised against making state by state comparisons.

State/territory specific issues

This section describes state and territory specific events or processes (e.g. recording practices or legislation changes) that may impact on the availability, and/or comparability of state and territory FDV data.

New South Wales

In New South Wales, FDV offences can be identified either by the associated legislative reference (refer to 'How is FDV defined in this publication?'), or when the courts make an ‘Offence to be recorded as a domestic violence offence’ order. The flagging of offences against Commonwealth legislation can only be made by the courts through such an order. While this process is open to the courts, these orders are (currently) rarely applied to Commonwealth offences, resulting in lower than expected levels of flagging for some offence types, particularly offences in ANZSOC Division 05 Abduction/harassment.

For 2018–19, the methodology for identifying FDV related murder and manslaughter offences has been improved. FDV related defendants/offences are now identifiable by either the charge recorded by police on an FDV related incident; or (for matters proceeded against by ex officio indictment) where the indictment or judgement indicates that there was a domestic relationship between the accused and the victim. FDV-related murder and manslaughter counts for the years prior to 2018–19 are likely to be understated and users are advised not to make direct comparisons with the current year.

Victoria

In Victoria, when a defendant attends court from custody, their records are initiated manually in the court recording system. As such, the FDV flag – which is recorded in the police system and automatically transferred to the court system (refer to ‘How is FDV defined in this publication?’) – is not applied to these defendants’ court records. This results in a lower than expected level of FDV flagging for certain offence types, in particular ANZSOC Divisions 01 Homicide and related offences and 03 Sexual assault and related offences.

Prior to 2017–18, FDV information from the higher courts in Victoria were unavailable due to systems limitations.

Prior to December 2015, information on FDV offences flowing from the Victorian Police recording systems to the Victorian Court Services did not include FDV sexual assault offences (identifiable via a Family Violence Sexual Assault Indicator). As such, data about FDV related sexual assault may be understated in Victoria prior to 2016–17.

Queensland

During 2015 and 2016, several changes were made regarding the definition and treatment of FDV offending:

  • In October 2015, increased penalties for FDV offenders were introduced.
  • From December 2015, the Queensland government enacted a raft of domestic violence legislation which included the capacity to record when criminal offending is FDV-related.
  • In May 2016, a new FDV offence of 'choking, suffocation or strangulation in a domestic setting' was introduced.


Due to these changes. FDV data for Queensland are only published for 2016-17 onwards.

South Australia

FDV data for South Australia are not included in this publication due to system limitations in the South Australian criminal courts. However the ABS continues to work with the data provider to obtain FDV information for inclusion in future releases.

Western Australia

Information relating to FDV offenders is recorded by Western Australia Police on two separate crime recording systems: the Information Management System (IMS) and Briefcase. Only data from Briefcase transfers through to the criminal courts administrative systems. As such, statistics about FDV defendants for Western Australia may be understated.

Tasmania

Data about FDV defendants finalised in Tasmania's higher courts are available from 2017–18 onwards. Prior to this, data were not available due to system limitations.

Australian Capital Territory

In 2018, ACT Courts records were migrated to the Integrated Court Management System which has different data entry and extraction procedures from the previous recording system, and has likely impacted the 2018–19 FDV data. The ABS will continue to work with ACT Courts to monitor the data and understand the impacts of the system change. In the meantime comparison of data between 2018–19 and historical years should be avoided.

Confidentiality of FDV data

In line with ABS policy on data confidentiality, table cells containing small values have been randomly adjusted. As such, the sum of the components of a total will not necessarily give the same result as the published total in a particular table.

Further information

Users should note that the FDV data contained in this publication are considered to be experimental and are subject to further evaluation. The ABS welcomes and appreciates feedback from users of these statistics on any aspect of the release. Please send written feedback to: crime.justice@abs.gov.au.

Appendix - Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification

Show all

CodeDivision/Subdivision/Group 
01Homicide and related offences 
 011 Murder 
  0111  Murder 
 012 Attempted murder 
  0121  Attempted murder 
 013 Manslaughter and driving causing death 
  0131  Manslaughter 
  0132  Driving causing death 
02 Acts intended to cause injury 
 021 Assault 
  0211  Serious assault resulting in injury 
  0212  Serious assault not resulting in injury 
  0213  Common assault 
 029 Other acts intended to cause injury 
  0291  Stalking 
  0299  Other acts intended to cause injury, nec 
03 Sexual assault and related offences 
 031 Sexual assault 
  0311  Aggravated sexual assault 
  0312  Non-aggravated sexual assault 
 032 Non-assaultive sexual offences 
  0321  Non-assaultive sexual offences against a child 
  0322  Child pornography offences 
  0323  Sexual servitude offences 
  0329  Non-assaultive sexual offences, nec 
04 Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons 
 041 Dangerous or negligent operation of a vehicle 
  0411  Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substance 
  0412  Dangerous or negligent operation (driving) of a vehicle 
 049 Other dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons 
  0491  Neglect or ill-treatment of persons under care 
  0499  Other dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons, nec 
05 Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person 
 051 Abduction and kidnapping 
  0511  Abduction and kidnapping 
 052 Deprivation of liberty/false imprisonment 
  0521  Deprivation of liberty/false imprisonment 
 053 Harassment and threatening behaviour 
  0531  Harassment and private nuisance 
  0532  Threatening behaviour 
06 Robbery, extortion and related offences 
 061 Robbery 
  0611  Aggravated robbery 
  0612  Non-aggravated robbery 
 062 Blackmail and extortion 
  0621  Blackmail and extortion 
07 Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter 
 071 Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter 
  0711  Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter 
08Theft and related offences 
 081 Motor vehicle theft and related offences 
  0811  Theft of a motor vehicle 
  0812  Illegal use of a motor vehicle 
  0813  Theft of motor vehicle parts or contents 
 082 Theft (except motor vehicles) 
  0821  Theft from a person (excluding by force) 
  0822  Theft of intellectual property 
  0823  Theft from retail premises 
  0829  Theft (except motor vehicles), nec 
 083 Receive or handle proceeds of crime 
  0831  Receive or handle proceeds of crime 
 084 Illegal use of property (except motor vehicles) 
  0841  Illegal use of property (except motor vehicles) 
09Fraud, deception and related offences 
 091 Obtain benefit by deception 
  0911  Obtain benefit by deception 
 092 Forgery and counterfeiting 
  0921  Counterfeiting of currency 
  0922  Forgery of documents 
  0923  Possess equipment to make false/illegal instrument 
 093 Deceptive business/government practices 
  0931  Fraudulent trade practices 
  0932  Misrepresentation of professional status 
  0933  Illegal non-fraudulent trade practices 
 099 Other fraud and deception offences 
  0991  Dishonest conversion 
  0999  Other fraud and deception offences, nec 
10Illicit drug offences 
 101 Import or export illicit drugs 
  1011  Import illicit drugs 
  1012  Export illicit drugs 
 102 Deal or traffic in illicit drugs 
  1021  Deal or traffic in illicit drugs - commercial quantity 
  1022  Deal or traffic in illicit drugs - non-commercial quantity 
 103 Manufacture or cultivate illicit drugs 
  1031  Manufacture illicit drugs 
  1032  Cultivate illicit drugs 
 104 Possess and/or use illicit drugs 
  1041  Possess illicit drugs 
  1042  Use illicit drugs 
 109 Other illicit drug offences 
  1099  Other illicit drug offences, nec 
11Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences 
 111 Prohibited weapons/explosives offences 
  1111  Import or export prohibited weapons/explosives 
  1112  Sell, possess and/or use prohibited weapons/explosives 
  1119  Prohibited weapons/explosives offences, nec 
 112 Regulated weapons/explosives offences 
  1121  Unlawfully obtain or possess regulated weapons/explosives 
  1122  Misuse of regulated weapons/explosives 
  1123  Deal or traffic regulated weapons/explosives offences 
  1129  Regulated weapons/explosives offences, nec 
12Property damage and environmental pollution 
 121 Property damage 
  1211  Property damage by fire or explosion 
  1212  Graffiti 
  1219  Property damage, nec 
 122 Environmental pollution 
  1221  Air pollution offences 
  1222  Water pollution offences 
  1223  Noise pollution offences 
  1224  Soil pollution offences 
  1229  Environmental pollution, nec 
13Public order offences 
 131 Disorderly conduct 
  1311  Trespass 
  1312  Criminal intent 
  1313  Riot and affray 
  1319  Disorderly conduct, nec 
 132 Regulated public order offences 
  1321  Betting and gambling offences 
  1322  Liquor and tobacco offences 
  1323  Censorship offences 
  1324  Prostitution offences 
  1325  Offences against public order sexual standards 
  1326  Consumption of legal substances in prohibited spaces 
  1329  Regulated public order offences, nec 
 133 Offensive conduct 
  1331  Offensive language 
  1332  Offensive behaviour 
  1333  Vilify or incite hatred on racial, cultural, religious or ethnic grounds 
  1334  Cruelty to animals 
14Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences 
 141 Driver Licence offences 
  1411  Drive while licence disqualified or suspended 
  1412  Drive without a licence 
  1419  Driver licence offences, nec 
 142 Vehicle registration and roadworthiness offences 
  1421  Registration offences 
  1422  Roadworthiness offences 
 143 Regulatory driving offences 
  1431  Exceed the prescribed content of alcohol or other substance limit 
  1432  Exceed the legal speed limit 
  1433  Parking offences 
  1439  Regulatory driving offences, nec 
 144 Pedestrian offences 
  1441  Pedestrian offences 
15Offences against justice procedures, government security and government operations 
 151 Breach of custodial order offences 
  1511  Escape custody offences 
  1512  Breach of home detention 
  1513  Breach of suspended sentence 
 152 Breach of community-based orders 
  1521  Breach of community service order 
  1522  Breach of parole 
  1523  Breach of bail 
  1524  Breach of bond - probation 
  1525  Breach of bond - other 
  1529  Breach of community-based order, nec 
 153 Breach of violence and non-violence restraining orders 
  1531  Breach of violence order 
  1532  Breach of non-violence order 
 154 Offences against government operations 
  1541  Resist or hinder government official (excluding police officer, justice official or government security officer) 
  1542  Bribery involving government officials 
  1543  Immigration offences 
  1549  Offences against government operations, nec 
 155 Offences against government security 
  1551  Resist or hinder government officer concerned with government security 
  1559  Offences against government security, nec 
 156 Offences against justice procedures 
  1561  Subvert the course of justice 
  1562  Resist or hinder police officer or justice official 
  1563  Prison regulation offences 
  1569  Offences against justice procedures, nec 
16Miscellaneous offences 
 161 Defamation, libel and privacy offences 
  1611  Defamation and libel 
  1612  Offences against privacy 
 162 Public health and safety offences 
  1621  Sanitation offences 
  1622  Disease prevention offences 
  1623  Occupational health and safety offences 
  1624  Transport regulation offences 
  1625  Dangerous substances offences 
  1626  Licit drug offences 
  1629  Public health and safety offences, nec 
 163 Commercial/industry/financial regulation 
  1631  Commercial/industry/financial regulation 
 169 Other miscellaneous offences 
  1691  Environmental regulation offences 
  1692  Bribery excluding government officials 
  1693  Quarantine offences 
  1694  Import/export regulations 
  1695  Procure or commit illegal abortion 
  1699  Other miscellaneous offences, nec 

Appendix - method of finalisation classification

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Method of finalisation refers to the way in which a defendant’s case(s) is finalised in the courts and the case(s) ceases to be an item of work for that particular court level (within the reference period).

This appendix presents the different categories/types of method of finalisation in scope of the Criminal Courts, Australia publication, including the definitions for each of these.

For additional information about counting rules and state/territory specific court practices that may impact on method of finalisation data in this publication, refer to the Explanatory Notes.

CodeMethod of Finalisation Type and Description
100  Adjudicated Finalisation
   An outcome of criminal proceedings based on a judgement, or decision made by the court as to whether or not the defendant is guilty of a criminal charge(s). Includes: 110 Charge proven 120 Charge not proven
 110 Charge Proven (Proven Guilty)
   An outcome of criminal proceedings of criminal proceedings in which a court accepts that a criminal charge(s) is proven either through a guilty plea entered by a defendant, or through a guilty finding by the court. Includes: 111 Guilty finding by the court 112 Guilty plea by defendant 113 Guilty ex-parte
  111Guilty finding by the court
   An outcome of criminal proceedings whereby the court (i.e. Jury, Judge, Magistrate etc.) has determined that the defendant is guilty of a criminal charge(s).
  112Guilty plea by defendant
   An admission of guilt by the defendant in relation to a criminal charge(s).
  113Guilty ex-parte
   A determination of guilt made by the court, in the absence of the defendant, based on the evidence presented in relation to a criminal charge(s).
 120 Charges not proven (Acquitted)
   A determination made by the court that the defendant is not guilty of a criminal charge(s) due to sufficient evidence to demonstrate the defendant is not guilty, insufficient evidence presented by the prosecution (to infer guilt), or lack of criminal responsibility (i.e. mental illness or condition at the time the defendant was alleged to have committed an offence). Includes: 121 Acquitted by the court 122 Not guilty by reason of mental illness/condition 123 No case to answer at committal 124 Charge not proven (not elsewhere classified)
  121Acquitted by the court
   A determination made by the court that the defendant is not guilty, or is free from a criminal charge(s).
  122Not guilty by reason of mental illness/condition
   A determination by the court that the defendant is not guilty of a criminal charge(s) by reason of mental illness/condition.
  123No case to answer at committal
   A determination by the court (at a committal hearing) that there is insufficient evidence to commit the defendant to a higher court for trial.
  129Charge not proven (not elsewhere classified)
   An outcome of criminal proceedings whereby a criminal charge(s) has not been proven, for reasons not described elsewhere (i.e. 121, 122,123). For example, where the charge is struck out, or dismissed by a member of the judiciary due to delays in proceedings or insufficient evidence provided by the prosecution.
200  Transfer of Charges Between Court Levels
   A court outcome ordering that a criminal charge(s) be transferred to another court level (within the same state/territory) to be adjudicated and/or sentenced. Includes: 210 Transfer from a lower court to a Higher Court 220 Transfer from the Higher Court to a Magistrates’ Court 250 Transfer from a Children’s Court to a Magistrates’ Court 290 Other transfers between court levels (not elsewhere classified)
 210 Transfer from a lower to a Higher Court
   A court outcome ordering a criminal charge(s) initiated in a lower court be transferred to a higher court for trial and/or sentencing. Includes: 211 Committed for trial 212 Committed for sentence 219 Transfer from a lower to a Higher Court (not elsewhere classified)
  211Committed for trial
   A court outcome of a committal hearing where a defendant enters a not guilty plea in relation to the charge(s) against them and is subsequently transferred to a Higher Court to stand trial.
  212Committed to sentence
   A court outcome of a committal hearing where a defendant enters a guilty plea in relation to the charge(s) against them and is subsequently transferred to a Higher Court for sentencing.
  219Transfer from a lower court to a Higher Court (not elsewhere classified)
   A court outcome resulting in transfer from a lower to a Higher Court not elsewhere described (i.e. 211, 212).
 220 Transfer from a Higher Court to a Magistrates' Court
   A court outcome ordering that a charge(s) be transferred from a Higher Court to a Magistrates’ Court to be determined and/or sentenced.
 250 Transfer from a Children's Court to a Magistrates' Court
   A court outcome ordering that a criminal charge(s) be transferred from a Children's Court to a Magistrates' Court to be determined and/or sentenced.
 290 Other transfers between court levels (not elsewhere classified)
   A court outcome ordering that a criminal charge(s) be transferred to another court level not described elsewhere (i.e. 210, 220 and 250). Includes re-hearings ordered by an appellate court, transfers from a Higher Court to a Children’s Court and transfers to Specialist Courts.1
300  Non-adjudicated Finalisation
   Court outcomes which relate to the completion of a criminal charge(s) which have not been adjudicated. Includes: 310 Defendant deceased 330 Unfit to plead 340 Withdrawn by the prosecution 350 Transfer to a non-court agency 390 Other non-adjudicated finalisation (not elsewhere classified)
 310 Defendant deceased
   Following the initiation of a criminal charge(s) the court is notified that the defendant is deceased. As such, the case(s) is unable to proceed.
 330 Unfit to plead
   An outcome of court proceedings where the defendant has been deemed to be incapable of pleading guilty or not guilty to a criminal charge(s) as a result of their mental status.
 340 Withdrawn by the prosecution
   The formal withdrawal of a criminal charge(s) by the prosecution (i.e. Police, Director of Public Prosecutions, Attorney-General, or another initiating agency). Includes Nolle Prosequi and No True Bill.
 350 Transfer to a non-court agency
   An outcome of court proceedings whereby the criminal charge(s) has been transferred to a non-court agency.
 390 Other non-adjudicated finalisation (not elsewhere classified)
   Other non-adjudicated finalisations which have not been described elsewhere (i.e. 310, 330, 340 and 350).
900  Not stated/Unknown
   The method of finalisation is not able to be determined.
  1. Specialist Courts: Courts available in some states and territories that provide support and/or offer access to programs and support services for defendants with particular characteristics. For example, Drug courts and Indigenous courts. The aim of specialist courts is to reduce rates of persons subsequently returning to the justice system. Specialist courts are excluded from Criminal Courts data.

Appendix - sentence type classification

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This Appendix includes sentence codes, categories and definitions for each sentence type included in the Criminal Courts, Australia collection. For additional information about sentencing practices adopted by each state and territory and how these may impact on the comparability of the data presented in this collection please refer to the Explanatory Notes.

CodeSentence Type and Description
1000   Custodial Orders
    Sentences which impose a specified period of restricted liberty on a person through detainment in an institution, a home, or through intensive supervision while residing in the community. Includes: 1100 Custody in a correctional institution 1200 Custody in the community 1300 Fully suspended sentences
 1100  Custody in a correctional institution
    Sentences that require a person to be detained within a facility, built especially for the purpose of incarceration. Includes: 1110 Life and indeterminate imprisonment 1120 Imprisonment 1130 Periodic detention 1140 Juvenile detention
  1110 Life and indeterminate imprisonment
    Life Imprisonment: A sentence requiring a person to serve time in custody for a minimum time, specified by the court or other administrative body (e.g. Parole Board). This can, but does not necessarily mean, that a person may be held in custody for the full duration of his/her natural life. Indeterminate Imprisonment: A sentence dealt to those declared to be habitual criminals, those deemed not responsible for their actions due to a mental or intellectual impairment, or those sentenced to imprisonment where no formal release date has been set. The prisoner may be released at any time at the discretion of the administrative body responsible for making that decision (e.g. Parole Board).
  1120 Imprisonment
    A sentence requiring a person to be detained within a facility built especially for the purpose of incarceration. Includes: 1121 Imprisonment with a determined term 1122 Imprisonment with a partially suspended term
   1121Imprisonment with a determined term
    A sentence requiring a person to be detained, within a facility built especially for the purpose of incarceration, for a specified period of time.
   1122Imprisonment with a partially suspended term
    A sentence requiring a person to be detained within a facility built especially for the purpose of incarceration, for part of a specified period of time, subject to the person being of good behaviour.
  1130 Periodic detention
    A sentence requiring a person to be in custody for two consecutive days in a week (e.g. weekends) and remain at liberty during the rest of the week.
  1140 Juvenile detention
    A sentence requiring a juvenile person to be detained within a facility built especially for the purpose of incarceration. Includes: 1141 Juvenile detention with a determined term 1142 Juvenile detention with a partially suspended term
   1141Juvenile detention with a determined term
    A sentence requiring a juvenile person to be detained within a facility, built especially for the purpose of incarceration, for a specified period of time.
   1142Juvenile detention with a partially suspended term
    A sentence requiring a juvenile person to be detained within a facility, built especially for the purpose of incarceration, for part of a specified period of time, subject to the person being of good behaviour.
 1200  Custody in the community
    An alternative to full time imprisonment, requiring a person to have restricted liberty for the duration of their sentence which is carried out in an approved community location under strict supervision. Includes: 1210 Intensive corrections orders 1220 Home detention 1290 Other custody in the community (not elsewhere classified)
  1210 Intensive corrections orders
    A sentence, served in the community, that places restrictions on the liberty of the person and requires them to report to a correctional services officer on a regular basis for a specified period of time. Includes: intensive supervision/corrections orders and fully suspended sentences (with conditions).
  1220 Home detention
    A sentence requiring a person to be confined to their home or another approved place of residence for the duration (or part) of the sentence of imprisonment. Involves restrictions to liberty and strict supervision (e.g. electronic monitoring).
  1290 Other custody in the community (not elsewhere classified)
    A sentence, served in the community, which restricts the liberty of a person for a specified period of time, while they reside within an approved location - which has not been described elsewhere (i.e. 1200, 1210 or 1220).
 1300  Fully suspended sentences
    A sentence which releases a person into the community, subject to them being of good behaviour for the length of the sentence. Includes: 1310 Fully suspended adult sentence 1320 Fully suspended juvenile sentence
  1310 Fully suspended adult sentence
    A sentence which releases a person into the community, subject to them being of good behaviour for the length of the sentence. Excludes fully suspended sentences that have added conditions other than good behaviour (these are classified to sentence code 1210).
  1320 Fully suspended juvenile sentence
    A sentence which releases a juvenile person into the community, subject to them being of good behaviour for the length of the sentence.
2000   Non-custodial Orders
    Orders that do not involve a person being held in custody. Includes: 2100 Community supervision or work orders 2200 Monetary orders 2900 Other non-custodial orders
 2100  Community supervision or work orders
    An order requiring a person to perform work within the community or report to a person nominated by the court (e.g. a justice official). Includes: 2110 Community service orders 2120 Probation orders 2130 Treatment orders 2140 Referral to conference
  2110 Community service orders
    An order requiring a person to undertake a specified number of hours of unpaid work for the community.
  2120 Probation orders
    An order requiring a person to report periodically to an authorised officer. Excludes orders that contain periods of restricted liberty.
  2130 Treatment orders
    An order requiring a person to undertake a specified rehabilitation program aimed at behavioural or attitudinal modification e.g. drug or alcohol treatment programs.
  2140 Referral to conference
    An order requiring a person to attend a group, family or community conference.
 2200  Monetary orders
    An order that requires a person pay a sum of money, usually in the form of a fine, or as recompense to victims. Includes: 2210 Fine 2220 Orders as recompense to victim 2290 Other monetary orders (not elsewhere classified)
  2210 Fine
    A monetary penalty requiring a person to pay a sum of money to the Crown.
  2220 Orders as recompense to victim
    An order requiring a person to pay a sum of money for a purpose, other than a fine, usually in relation to reparation to a victim. Includes restitution and compensation orders.
  2290 Other monetary orders (not elsewhere classified)
    Other monetary orders, not described elsewhere (i.e. 2210 or 2220), such as vehicle impoundment costs.
 2900  Other non-custodial orders
    Other non-custodial orders, not described elsewhere. Includes: 2910 Good behaviour bonds 2920 Licence disqualification/suspension/amendment 2930 Forfeiture of property order 2940 Nominal penalties 2990 Other non-custodial orders (not elsewhere classified)
  2910 Good behaviour bond/recognisance orders
    An order requiring a person to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. May include additional conditions that must be obeyed for the term of the order. Includes Recognisance orders – a condition or obligation undertaken by a defendant whereby they acknowledge, before the court, that they owe a personal debt to the state.
  2920 License disqualification/suspension/amendment
    An order relating to the cancellation/suspension or amendment of a licence/permit, or the review, or modification of conditions associated with it.
  2930 Forfeiture of property orders
    An order that deprives a person of his/her property as a penalty for some act or omission.
  2940 Nominal penalty
    An order which releases a person without a specific penalty, which may or may not have conditions attached. Includes Rising of the Court1 and discharge/dismissal.
  2990 Other non-custodial orders (not elsewhere classified)
    Other non-custodial orders that have not been described elsewhere (i.e. 2910, 2920, 2930 or 2940).
9000   Unknown/Not stated
    The sentence is not able to be determined.
  1. Rising of the Court: A defendant who is proven guilty of a criminal charge(s) is sentenced to remain in custody until the final adjournment of the court for the term, usually only momentarily.

Glossary

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Abduction, harassment and other offences against the person

Acts intended to threaten or harass, or acts that unlawfully deprive another person of their freedom of movement, that are against that person’s will or against the will of any parent, guardian or other person having lawful custody, or care of that person. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 05 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Abduction and kidnapping (051)
  • Deprivation of liberty/false imprisonment (052)
  • Harassment and threatening behaviour (053).
     

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

A defendant who has self-identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Acts intended to cause injury

Acts which are intended to cause non-fatal injury or harm to another person, where there is no sexual or acquisitive element; excludes attempted murder, or acts resulting in death. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 02 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Assault (021)
  • Other acts intended to cause injury (029).
     

Age

A defendant's age is calculated at the date their matter(s) was finalised in the criminal court.

Age standardised defendant rate

The age standardised defendant rate adjusts the crude rate to account for the differing age structures that exist between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations to enable better comparisons. For more information see Explanatory Notes – 'Rate of defendants finalised'

Aggravated sexual assault

Sexual assault that involves any of the following aggravating circumstances:

  • Sexual intercourse (i.e. oral sex and/or penetration of the vagina or anus by any part of the human body or by any object)
  • Inflict injury or violence
  • Possession/use of a weapon
  • Consent proscribed/committed against a child
  • Committed in company (i.e. by two or more persons).


These offences are classified to ANZSOC Group 0311.

Assault

The direct (and immediate/confrontational) infliction of force, injury or violence upon a person, or persons, or the direct (and immediate/confrontational) threat of force, injury or violence where there is an apprehension that the threat could be enacted. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 021 which includes the following groups:

  • Serious assault resulting in injury (0211)
  • Serious assault not resulting in injury (0212)
  • Common assault (0213).
     

Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC)

The ANZSOC is a hierarchical classification developed by the ABS for use in the collection and publication of crime and justice statistics. It provides a classificatory framework for the comparison of statistics on offences across Australia and New Zealand. Within the classificatory structure of ANZSOC, divisions represent the broadest categories of offences. The sub-division and group levels provide increasingly detailed dissections of the broad categories. The 2011 version of ANZSOC is used to classify offence data within this publication. For details of the classification refer to Appendix 1, or Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification, 2011 (cat. no. 1234.0).

Bench warrant

A warrant signed by a judge or magistrate ordering a person to be arrested and brought back before the court. This process takes place when a defendant, who has at least one charge that has not been finalised in the court, absconds from criminal proceedings. Bench warrants are excluded from this publication as methods of initiation and/or finalisation.

Breach of violence and non-violence restraining orders

An act or omission breaching the conditions of a violence or non-violence related restraining order. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 153 which includes the following groups:

  • Breach of violence order (1531)
  • Breach of non-violence order (1532).
     

Case

One or more criminal charges, relating to one or more individuals (or organisations), which are heard together by the court as one unit of work.

Charge

An allegation laid before a court by the police, Director of Public Prosecutions or other prosecuting agency that an individual (or organisation) has committed a criminal offence.

Child pornography offences

The production, possession, distribution, or display of pornographic or abusive material of a child under the age of consent. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Group 0322.

Children's Court

A lower court level which is presided over by a judge/magistrate and has the jurisdiction to hear cases and sentence criminal charges against persons (generally) aged less than 18 years at the time the offence occurred. May also determine some minor indictable offences and conduct committal proceedings in relation to young people who have been charged with major indictable offences.

Commercial/industry/financial regulation

Breaches of regulations designed to protect an industrial, commercial or financial activity, comprising acts that are harmful to persons, acquisitive, or deceptive and are not directed at health and safety and pollution control (i.e. they cannot be appropriately placed elsewhere). These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 163.

Compound sentences

Compound or complex sentences are those which contain a variety of conditions or components, such as a treatment order, probation order or community service work. The exact nature of these sentences depends upon the magistrate/judge handing down the sentence, who considers factors such as the offender’s criminal history and seriousness of their offence(s). This type of sentencing is becoming increasingly common across jurisdictions with the aim of assigning the most appropriate sentence combination for an offender that takes into account rehabilitative and restitution purposes, as well as wider community expectations.

Conviction/convicted

A formal declaration made by a jury, or a judge in a court of law, that the defendant is guilty of a criminal offence.

Court level

Represents the level (of court) in which a defendant's case(s) was finalised (see ‘Finalised defendant’). Court levels can be distinguished from one another based on the extent of their legal powers (see ‘Jurisdiction’). For the purposes of this publication Court level has been grouped into the following three categories:

  • Higher court (intermediate and Supreme Court)
  • Magistrates' Court (Court of Summary Jurisdiction)
  • Children's Court.
     

Court of summary jurisdiction

Lower courts which are presided over by a magistrate and have the jurisdiction to hear and sentence matters relating to summary (i.e. less serious) offences, or conduct preliminary (committal) hearings for indictable offences. In some circumstances, this court level may also deal with less serious indictable offences known as 'minor indictable' or 'triable either way' offences. Includes Magistrates' Courts, local courts or Courts of Petty Sessions (depending on the state/territory), and Children’s Courts.

Crude defendant rate

Crude defendant rates are a basic measure of prevalence within a population and are not adjusted to account for any differences in population. For more information see Explanatory Notes.

Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons

Dangerous or negligent acts (though not intended to cause harm) which actually, or potentially, result in injury to oneself or another person. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 04, which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Dangerous or negligent operation of a vehicle (041)
  • Other dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons (049).
     

Date of finalisation

The latest date on which all charges laid against a defendant within the one case are regarded as formally completed, and the defendant ceases to be an active unit of work for that particular court level.

Date of initiation

Represents the date in which a defendant’s case is initiated into the court, and can be either the date of committal or the date of registration (depending on the process of entry into that level of court). For defendants committed from a Magistrates' Court to a higher court, the date of committal is used for the date of initiation. For defendants who have any other method of initiation, including direct presentment to a higher court by ex-officio, the date of registration for that court level is used as the date of initiation. Where there are multiple dates of initiation for a defendant (i.e. for different charges) and these charges were all finalised at the same time, the earliest date of initiation is used (for the purposes of deriving duration (i.e. length) of a defendant(s) case for this publication).

Deal or traffic in illicit drugs

The supply or purchase of an illicit drug or controlled substance of any quantity; or, the possession of an illicit drug or controlled substance where the amount involved is deemed to be of a quantity for commercial activity. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 102 which includes the following groups:

  • Deal or traffic in illicit drugs – commercial quantity (1021)
  • Deal or traffic in illicit drugs – non-commercial quantity (1022).
     

Defendant

A person (or organisations) against whom one or more criminal charges have been laid which are heard together as one unit of work by the court.

District Court

See: ‘Intermediate Court’.

Driver licence offences

Driver licence offences pertaining to the ownership or use of a driver's licence. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 141 which includes the following groups:

  • Drive while licence disqualified or suspended (1411)
  • Drive without a licence (1412)
  • Driver licence offences n.e.c. (1419).
     

Duration

The time elapsed between the earliest date of initiation and the latest date of finalisation for a defendant whose case(s) has ceased to be an item of work for the particular court level.

Estimated resident population

The estimated resident population (ERP) used in this publication is for persons aged 10 years and over. The calculations are taken at the mid-point for the relevant reference period.

Driver of a vehicle exceeds the speed restrictions pertaining to a particular area. This offence is classified to ANZSOC Group 1432.

Ex-officio indictment

The direct laying of charge(s) against a defendant directly in a higher criminal court, by the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Attorney-General.

Exceed the prescribed content of alcohol or other substance limit

Driver of a vehicle exceeds the prescribed content of alcohol or other substance limit, which includes driving while affected by an illicit substance (i.e. drugs). This offence is classified to ANZSOC Group 1431.

Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) defendant

A defendant who has been finalised, for at least one FDV offence during the reference period.

Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) indicator

An indicator or ‘flag’ that is applied to a defendant record indicating any offences alleged to have been committed in an FDV context. This indicator is used to identify FDV defendants for this publication, refer to FDV explanatory notes for more information.

Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) offence

An offence identified as having occurred within a family and/or domestic context/relationship. For the purposes of this publication, FDV offences (based on ANZSOC) include:

  • Homicide and related offences (01)
  • Acts intended to cause injury (02)
  • Sexual assault and related offences (03)
  • Other dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons (049)
  • Abduction/harassment (051)
  • Property damage (121)
  • Breach of violence orders (1531).


Refer to FDV explanatory notes for more information, including difference across states and territories in how FDV offences are defined and identified.

Finalised defendant

A person or organisation for whom, all charges relating to the one case have been formally completed (within the reference period) so that they cease to be an item of work to be dealt with by the court.

Offences involving a dishonest act or omission carried out with the purpose of deceiving to obtain benefit. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 09 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Obtain benefit by deception (091)
  • Forgery and counterfeiting (092)
  • Deceptive business/government practices (093)
  • Other fraud and deception offences (099).
     

Harassment and threatening behaviour

Actions that harass or are intended to harass, threaten or invade the privacy of an individual, not amounting to an assault, sexual assault, stalking, blackmail or extortion. The action can be face-to-face, written, or made through a carriage service (e.g. phone, computer, etc.). These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 053 which includes the following groups:

  • Harassment and private nuisance (0531)
  • Threatening behaviour (0532).
     

Higher court

A court presided over by a judge which has the jurisdiction to trial and sentence indictable (i.e. more serious) criminal matters; includes intermediate court (District or County Court) and the Supreme Court.

Unlawfully kill, attempt to unlawfully kill, or conspiracy to kill another person. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 01 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Murder (011)
  • Attempted murder (012)
  • Manslaughter and driving causing death (013).
     

Illicit drug offences

The possession, sale, dealing or trafficking, importing or exporting, manufacturing or cultivating of drugs or other substances prohibited under legislation. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 10 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Import or export illicit drugs (101)
  • Deal or traffic in illicit drugs (102)
  • Manufacture or cultivate illicit drugs (103)
  • Possess and/or use illicit drugs (104)
  • Other illicit drug offences (109).
     

Import or export illicit drugs

Actions resulting or intended to result in either the importation of illicit drugs or controlled substances into Australia, or the exportation of illicit drugs or controlled substances from Australia. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 101 which includes the following groups:

  • Import illicit drugs (1011)
  • Export illicit drugs (1012).
     

Indictable offence

A serious criminal offence as defined by specific Commonwealth, state and territory legislation. Charges relating to indictable offences generally require a trial and/or sentence hearing in a higher court. Under some circumstances, a defendant can elect to have these charges dealt with in a Court of Summary Jurisdiction.

Indictment

A formal written accusation that charges a person with an offence that is to be tried in a higher court.

Indigenous status

Whether a defendant has or has not self-identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Indigenous status not stated

Where the Indigenous status of the defendant is not able to be identified or recorded.

Intermediate court

Higher courts which are presided over by a judge and have legal powers that fall between those of the Court of Summary Jurisdiction and a higher court, to trial and sentence matters relating to most indictable (i.e. serious) offences; includes District Courts and County Courts (depending on the state/territory). Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory do not have an intermediate court and all indictable offences are heard in the Supreme Court.

Jurisdiction

The legal power or authority which may be exercised by a particular court level within which, judgements or orders of the court can be enforced or executed. Each court level has its own defined jurisdictional limits and these vary across states and territories.

Juvenile

A person aged between 10 and 17 years of age.

Local Court

See: ‘Court of summary jurisdiction’.

Magistrates' Court

A lower court presided over by a magistrate which has the jurisdiction to hear and sentence summary (i.e. less serious) offences and to conduct preliminary (committal) hearings for indictable offences. In some circumstances, this court level may also deal with less serious indictable offences known as 'minor indictable' or 'triable either way' offences. Includes the Local Court and Court of Petty Sessions (depending on the state/territory). See: ‘Court of Summary Jurisdiction for further information’.

Manufacture or cultivate illicit drugs

Actions resulting or intended to result in the manufacture of controlled substances, or growing of plants used to make illicit drugs. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division (103) which includes the following groups:

  • Manufacture illicit drugs (1031)
  • Cultivate illicit drugs (1032).
     

Mean

The sum of the value of each observation in a data set divided by the number of observations. This is also known as the arithmetic average.

Median

The middle value in a distribution when these values are arranged in ascending or descending order.

Method of finalisation

Refers to the way in which a criminal charge(s) for a defendant has been completed (finalised) by the court, so that it ceases to be an item of work for that particular court level. The Method of finalisation classification (Appendix 2) presents a full list of the categories/methods of finalisation in scope of this publication, including definitions for each of these.

Method of initiation

Method of initiation describes how a criminal charge is initiated (i.e. commenced, lodged or filed) within the court system or a court level.

Miscellaneous offences

Offences involving the breach of statutory rules or regulations, governing activities that are prima facie legal where such offences are not explicitly dealt with under any other ANZSOC Division. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 16 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Defamation, libel and privacy offences (161)
  • Public health and safety offences (162)
  • Commercial/industry/financial regulation (163)
  • Other miscellaneous offences (169).
     

The taking of another person's motor vehicle (illegally or without permission) with the intent of temporarily or permanently depriving the owner (or possessor) from the use of the motor vehicle; and/or taking motor vehicle parts or contents (illegally or without permission). These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 081 which includes the following groups:

  • Theft of a motor vehicle (0811)
  • Illegal use of a motor vehicle (0812)
  • Theft of motor vehicle parts or contents (0813).
     

National Offence Index

The National Offence Index (NOI) provides an ordinal ranking of the offence categories in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC) (cat. no. 1234.0) according to perceived seriousness, in order to determine a defendant’s principal offence. The National Offence Index, 2018 (cat no. 1234.0.55.001) is available from the ABS website.

n.e.c.

Not elsewhere classified

n.f.d.

Not further defined

Non-aggravated sexual assault

Sexual assault offences not involving aggravated circumstances. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Group 0312.

Non-assaultive sexual offences against a child

Offences of a sexual nature (or intent thereof) against a person under the age of 16 years that involve the presence of that person but not physical contact with that person. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Group 0321.

Non-Indigenous

A defendant who does not identify as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Obtain benefit by deception

The use of deception or impersonation with the intent of dishonestly obtaining property, goods, services, or other benefit, or to avoid dis-benefit. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 091.

Offence

Any act or omission by a person (or persons), for which a penalty could be imposed by the Australian legal system.

Offences against government operations

An act with the intent of resisting or hindering government officers or government operations, other than police, justice or government security officers. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 154 which includes the following groups:

  • Resist or hinder a government official (excluding police, justice officials, or government security officers) (1541)
  • Bribery involving government officials (1542)
  • Immigration offences (1543)
  • Offences against government operations n.e.c. (1549).
     

Offences against government security

An act or omission prejudicial to effective enforcement of government operations concerned with the preservation of national security. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 155 which includes the following groups:

  • Resist or hinder government officer concerned with government security (1551)
  • Offences against government security n.e.c. (1559).
     

Offences against justice procedures

An act or omission prejudicial to the effective carrying out of justice procedures (other than justice orders). These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 156 which includes the following groups:

  • Subvert the course of justice (1561)
  • Resist or hinder police officer or justice official (1562)
  • Prison regulation offences (1563)
  • Offences against justice procedures n.e.c. (1569).
     

Offences against justice procedures, government security and government operations

An act or omission that is deemed to be prejudicial to the effective carrying out of justice procedures or any government operations. This includes general government operations as well as those specifically concerned with maintaining government security. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 15 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Breach of custodial order offences (151)
  • Breach of community-based orders (152)
  • Breach of violence and non-violence restraining orders (153)
  • Offences against government operations (154)
  • Offences against government security (155)
  • Offences against justice procedures (156).
     

Original jurisdiction

Refers to the power of a court to hear criminal charges against a defendant for the first time (as opposed to on appeal) and determine whether or not a defendant is proven guilty.

Other illicit drug offences

Other illicit drug offences not elsewhere classified in ANZSOC Division 10, including: possession of money with intent to obtain drugs; possession of pipes, syringes, or other utensils associated with the use of drugs; permitting premises to be used for taking, selling or distributing drugs; and failure to keep register for drugs of addiction. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 109.

Plea

A formal statement made by, or on behalf of, the defendant in response to a criminal charge that has been laid before a court, indicating whether or not the defendant intends to contest that charge.

Proven guilty

A category comprising defendants who pled guilty, were found guilty by the court or were found guilty ex parte.

Possess and/or use illicit drugs

The possession of a non-commercial quantity and/or use of an illicit drug or other controlled substance. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 104 which includes the following groups:

  • Possess illicit drugs (1041)
  • Use illicit drugs (1042).
     

Principal FDV offence

The ‘most serious’ FDV offence (based on ANZSOC) for a finalised FDV defendant, based upon how the defendant’s offence(s) was finalised and the hierarchy of the National Offence Index 2009 (see: ‘National Offence Index’). Refer to FDV explanatory notes for more information.

Principal offence

The ‘most serious’ offence (based on ANZSOC) for a finalised defendant, based upon how the defendant’s offence(s) was finalised and the hierarchy of the National Offence Index 2018 (see: ‘National Offence Index’). Refer to methodology for more information.

Principal proven offence

The offence (based on ANZSOC) associated with the ‘most serious’ sentence type (i.e. Principal sentence) with the largest sentence length or fine amount (i.e. quantum). Refer to methodology for more information.

Principal sentence

The main (or most serious) sentence dealt to a defendant who has been proven guilty, based on the hierarchy of the Sentence Type Classification. This classification (Appendix 3) presents a full list of categories/types of sentences in scope of this publication, including definitions for each of these.

Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences

Offences involving prohibited or regulated weapons and explosives. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 11 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Prohibited weapons/explosives offences (111)
  • Regulated weapons/explosives offences (112).
     

Property damage and environmental pollution

The wilful and/or unlawful destruction, damage, defacement or pollution of public, private, or community property – where 'destruction' means altering the property in any way so as to render it imperfect or inoperative. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 12 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Property damage (121)
  • Environmental pollution (122).
     

Prosecution

The legal representatives of the Crown who bring a case against a defendant e.g. police, the Department of Prosecutions or other statutory body.

Public order offences

Offences relating to personal conduct that involves (or may lead to) a breach of public order or decency, is indicative of criminal intent, or is otherwise regulated or prohibited on moral or ethical grounds. In most cases (but not all) these offences do not involve a specific victim or victims. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 13 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Disorderly conduct (131)
  • Regulated public order offences (132)
  • Offensive conduct (133).
     

Quantum

The length of a sentence/order, or fine amount, associated with an offence proven guilty. For the purposes of this publication, the quantum presented is that associated with the defendant’s principal sentence.

Rate of defendants finalised

Rates of defendants finalised are expressed as the number of defendants per 100,000 of the relevant Estimated Resident Population (ERP). For more information see methodology.

Ratio

A way of concisely showing the relationship of one quantity relative to another.

Regulated public order offences

Offences involving behaviour that is regulated or prohibited on moral or ethical grounds. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 132 which includes the following groups:

  • Betting and gambling offences (1321)
  • Liquor and tobacco offences (1322)
  • Censorship offences (1323)
  • Prostitution offences (1324)
  • Offences against public order sexual standards (1325)
  • Consumption of legal substances in regulated spaces (1326)
  • Regulated public order offences n.e.c. (1329).
     

Rising of the court

A defendant who is proven guilty of a criminal charge(s) is sentenced to remain in custody until the final adjournment of the court for the term, usually only momentarily.

Acts intended to unlawfully gain money, property or other items of value from, or cause detriment to another person by using the threat of force or any other coercive measure. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 06 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Robbery (061)
  • Blackmail and extortion (062).
     

Sentence

A penalty or order imposed by a court upon a defendant who is proven guilty of a criminal offence. The Sentence Type Classification (Appendix 3) presents a full list of categories/sentence types in scope of this publication, including definitions for each of these.

Acts (or intent of acts) of a sexual nature against another person, where these are non-consensual or where consent is proscribed. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 03 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Sexual assault (031)
  • Non-assaultive sexual offences (032).
     

Specialist courts

Courts available in some states and territories that provide support and/or offer access to programs and support services for defendants with particular characteristics e.g. Drug courts, Indigenous courts. The aim of specialist courts is to reduce rates of defendant’s returning to the justice system. Specialist courts are excluded from this collection.

Stalking

Acts intended to cause physical or mental harm to a person, or to arouse apprehension or fear in a person, through a repeated course of unreasonable conduct. Includes, but is not limited to: unauthorised surveillance of an individual; interfering with the individual's property (or that of an associate); sending offensive material; and communicating with the person in a way that could be reasonably expected to arouse apprehension or fear. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Group 0291.

Summary offence

A criminal offence which is regarded as less serious relative to an indictable offence, as defined by specific Commonwealth, state or territory legislation. Charges relating to summary offences are generally dealt with by a Court of Summary Jurisdiction. However, in some states and territories, a defendant with summary charges may be transferred to a higher court for sentencing (e.g. if the magistrate wants to impose a penalty which exceeds his /her jurisdictional powers or if they have other indictable offences in the same case that are to be transferred (see: ‘Indictable offence’).

Supreme Court

A higher court presided over by a judge, which deals with the most serious criminal charges and has jurisdiction to trial and sentence matters relating to all indictable offences. In states and territories that have an intermediate court, the Supreme Court is usually reserved to deal with the most serious indictable offences, such as murder.

The unlawful taking of (or obtaining) money or goods not involving the use of force, threat of force or violence, coercion, or deception, with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner (or possessor) of the use of the money or goods. Also includes the receiving or handling of money or goods obtained unlawfully. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 08 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Motor vehicle theft and related offences (081)
  • Theft (except motor vehicles) (082)
  • Receive or handle proceeds of crime (083)
  • Illegal use of property (except motor vehicles) (084).
     

Theft (except motor vehicles)

The unlawful taking of (or obtaining) money, goods, services (other than from motor vehicles) or non-motorised vehicles, without the use of force, threat of force or violence, coercion or deception, with the intent of permanently depriving the owner or possessor of the use of the money or goods. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 082 which includes the following groups:

  • Theft from a person (excluding by force) (0821)
  • Theft of intellectual property (0822)
  • Theft from retail premises (0823)
  • Theft (except motor vehicles) n.e.c. (0829).
     

Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences

Offences relating to vehicles and most forms of traffic offences, including offences pertaining to the licensing, registration, roadworthiness or use of vehicles, bicycle offences and pedestrian offences. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 14 which includes the following Sub-divisions:

  • Driver licence offences (141)
  • Vehicle registration and roadworthiness offences (142)
  • Regulatory driving offences (143)
  • Pedestrian offences (144).
     

Trial

The examination of (and decision on) a matter of law or fact by a court where a defendant enters a not guilty plea or other defended plea. Trials are usually conducted before a judge and jury, whereby the judge rules on questions of law and the jury is responsible for determining whether or not the defendant is guilty (although a some states and territories also allow for a trial before a judge only). Defendants can be committed to trial via a committal proceeding, or an ex-officio indictment.

Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter

The unlawful entry (forced or unforced) of a structure with the intent to commit an offence. A structure is defined as a building that is contained by walls and can be secured in some form. This includes, but is not limited to, a dwelling (e.g. house, flat, caravan), office, bank, shop, factory, school and church. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Division 07.

Vehicle registration and roadworthiness offences

Offences relating to the registration or roadworthiness/soundness of a vehicle itself (including road, air and/or sea vehicles), as opposed to the manner in which a vehicle is driven. These offences are classified to ANZSOC Sub-division 142 which includes the following groups:

  • Registration offences (1421)
  • Roadworthiness offences (1422).
     

Abbreviations

Show all

ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
ACTAustralian Capital Territory
ANZSOCAustralian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification
ASOCAustralian Standard Offence Classification
Aust.Australia
cat. no.Catalogue number
COAGCouncil of Australian Governments
FDVFamily and Domestic Violence
NCCJSNational Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics
NCCSUNational Criminal Courts Statistics Unit
n.e.c.not elsewhere classified
n.f.d.not further defined
no.number
NOINational Offence Index
NSWNew South Wales
NTNorthern Territory
QldQueensland
SASouth Australia
Tas.Tasmania
Vic.Victoria
WAWestern Australia