Alleged offender incidents

This data has now been superseded and is for historical reference only. For the most accurate data, the Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) recommends the use of data from the most recent release. The CSA does not recommend the use of this data to make comparisons over time.

An alleged offender incident is an incident involving one or more offences to which an individual, business or organisation has been recorded as an alleged offender. An alleged offender incident represents one alleged offender but may involve multiple victims and offences. One incident may involve offences that occur over a period of time but if processed by Victoria Police as one incident, it will have a count of one in the data presented in this section.

There may be multiple incidents within the reference period that involve the same individual, business or organisation as an offender, where this occurs they will be counted for each incident. If there are multiple alleged offenders related to a criminal event, each will have their alleged offender incident counted once in the figures.

Where there were multiple offences recorded within the one incident, the incident is assigned an offence category of the most serious offence in the incident, referred to as the principal offence.

3.1 Key movements in the number and rate of alleged offender incidents

Alleged offender incidents, 10 year trend


3.2 Sex and age of alleged offenders

Of the 173,388 alleged offender incidents recorded in the last 12 months, 173,373 incidents involved a person as the alleged offender. The remainder involved a business or organisation. Of the alleged offender incidents that involved a person, 79.2% involved a male offender and 20.8% involved a female offender. The remaining alleged offenders had an unknown sex.

Alleged offender incidents by sex and age, year ending March 2018


Overall alleged offender incidents involving a person decreased in the year ending March 2018, down 0.6% (1,130 incidents). The number of male offender incidents decreased by 1.9% (2,633 incidents) from the previous year. Incidents involving a female offender increased by 4.3% (1,498 incidents) from the previous year.

For the year ending March 2018, for both male and female offenders, just under one-third were aged between 20–29 years (29.9%, or 41,098 incidents for males, and 30.6% or 10,999 incidents for females).

3.3 Number of alleged offender incidents by principal offence category

In order to best represent the type of offence associated with an incident involving multiple offences, the most serious offence within the incident is determined and this becomes the principal offence to represent the incident.

In the past five years, the number of alleged offender incidents with a principal offence of Crimes against the person has been increasing, and increased 5.7% (2,589) from the previous year. In the last 12 months, Crimes against the person made up 27.7% of all offender incidents.

By principal offence, the category that made up the largest proportion of offender incidents was Property and deception offences, however this category decreased 4.1% (2,751 incidents) from the previous year. These offences made up 37.4% (64,823 incidents) of all offender incidents.

Alleged offender incidents by principal offence, 5 year trend

Alleged offender incidents with a principal offence of Drug offences have decreased 2.0 % (278 incidents) in the past year, comprising 13,978 alleged offender incidents. This offence division made up 8.1% of all offender incidents.

Offender incidents with a principal offence of Public order and security offences and Justice procedures offences both decreased to 20,459 and 25,728 incidents respectively. 

3.4 Outcome

Two in five offender incidents (39.6% or 68,582) recorded in the past 12 months resulted in an Arrest, while 45,660 (26.3%) resulted in a Summons and 35,381 (20.4%) in an Intent to Summons being recorded. There were 9,996 (5.8%) offender incidents where a Caution or Official warning was issued.

An Intent to Summons is an interim investigation status and is not necessarily the final outcome of an incident. As the data is captured at a point in time, the investigation status of each incident is subject to change.

Alleged offender incidents by outcome, year ending March 2018

Other includes: Penalty infringement notice, not authorised, warrant issued, notice to appear, presentment and other statuses.

3.5 Key movements in the number of alleged offender incidents by Indigenous status 

An Indigenous status for alleged offender incidents is based on the most frequent recording status for each offender.

Under this counting rule, a person has either a yes or no response to the Standard Indigenous Question on their record, then the most frequent recorded response is taken as correct. If the person only has one meaningful response, then that response stands across all records. If a person appears in the dataset two different times with a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ in the records, a ‘yes’ response is taken over a ‘no’ response. For more information on how this counting rule operates see the Explanatory notes. There has been a decline in the quality of reporting for Indigenous status, with the number of offender incidents with an Unknown Indigenous status increasing by 74.2% in the last five years. This decline may impact on trend analysis.

Alleged offender incidents by Indigenous status, 5 year trend

Alleged offender incidents by Indigenous status[1] and age, year ending March 2018

The age distribution for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people varies in comparison to non-Indigenous people in Australia. On average, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people tend to be younger than non-Indigenous people. For these statistics, the CSA has not controlled for these differing age populations.


[1] Excludes alleged offenders where their Indigenous status is unknown.

Crime Statistics Agency, 2018
Crime Statistics Agency, 2018
Date of Publication

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