Recorded criminal incidents

The information outlined in this section represents all criminal incidents recorded in the Police Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) database, where Victoria Police have recorded a crime prohibited by criminal law. These include crimes that have been reported to police as well as those identified by police. For more information about counting rules, please refer to the Explanatory Notes (External link).

 

Key movements in the number and rate of criminal incidents

 

Victorian criminal incident rate per 100,000 population, 10 year trend

In the last 12 months the number of criminal incidents recorded increased (7,447 incidents) while the rate per 100,000 population decreased slightly. This is the lowest criminal incident rate since the year ending December 2014. Over the last 10 years the number of criminal incidents recorded by Victoria Police has increased 24.2% from 311,539, and the rate per 100,000 population has also increased, up by 3.1% from 5,799.4 in the year ending December 2009.

 

Criminal Incidents - Data Visualisation

The criminal incidents data visualisation contains the number and rate of criminal incidents in Victoria.

For instructions on how to use the visualisation please download the 'Guide for use' PDF at the end of this page.

Number of criminal incidents by principal offence category

To best represent the type of offence associated with a criminal incident involving multiple offences, the most serious offence within an incident is determined and this becomes the principal offence to represent the incident. For criminal incidents the most serious charge laid is selected and, if no charges were laid, the most serious offence recorded will be selected. Further information on the derivation of a principal offence for a criminal incident can be found in the CSA paper Offence Types – Differences between Recorded Offences and Criminal Incidents, Year ending 31 March 2018 (External link).

24 month trend testing - criminal incidents

The CSA uses a 24 month trend test on each offence subdivision and Local Government Area to highlight changes that are statistically significant. The CSA uses the Kendall’s Rank Order Correlation statistical test (or Kendall‘s tau-b) to determine whether a series is trending upwards or downwards over the two years. For more information on the trend test see the Explanatory Notes (External link) and to see all offence categories, see the recorded criminal incident data tables in Appendix 2 and Appendix 3.

Over the last 24 months, the major principle offence categories that showed significant upward trends for criminal incidents were:

  • Stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour (up 8.8%, from 6,775 to 7,370)
  • Deception (up 7.3% from 20,451 to 21,947)
  • Drug dealing and trafficking (up 9.6%, from 2,750 to 3,014)
  • Drug use and possession (up 8.1%  from 10,809 to 11,682)
  • Weapons and explosives offences (up 9.3% from 8,709 to 9,522)

The major principal offence categories that showed significant downward trends for criminal incidents were:

  • Burglary/Break and enter (down 12.8% from 43,867 to 38,235)
  • Disorderly and offensive conduct (down 3.9%, 13,010 to 12,498)

All other major principal offence categories did not show a significant trend over the last 24 months.

 

Notable movements - criminal incidents

In the last 12 months criminal incidents with a principal offence of Crimes against the person increased by 2.7% or 1,659 incidents. This was driven by a 2.7% (774 incidents) increase in Assault & related offence incidents, an 8.8% (595 incidents) increase in Stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour incidents and an increase of 4.0% in Sexual offences incidents (331 incidents) in the year ending December 2018. Assault and related offences made up the largest proportion of Crimes against the person incidents (62.9%).

The number of criminal incidents with a principal offence of Property and deception offences increased by 1,224 incidents or 0.5% in the last 12 months. This was primarily driven by a 5.3% (6,929 incidents) increase in Theft incidents. In contrast both Burglary/Break and enter (down 12.8%, 5,632 incidents) and Property Damage (down 4.4%, 1,571 incidents) decreased in the year ending December 2018.

Compared with the previous reference period the number of criminal incidents with a principal offence of Justice procedures offences increased by 6.5% (2,950 incidents).

Please note that movements in recorded crime data may be impacted by changes in legislation and operational police practice. Information is available about notable changes in the Explanatory Notes (External link).

 

Victorian criminal incidents recorded by principal offence category and quarter in the past 12 months

5 year trend - criminal incidents

In the five years to December 2018 the number of criminal incidents with a principal offence of Property and deception offences peaked in the year ending December 2016. Following a 14.0% (38,084 incidents) decrease to the year ending December 2017, this offence type increased 0.5% (1,224 incidents) in the last 12 months. Since the year ending December 2014 the number of criminal incidents with this principal offence type increased by 4.3% (9,601 incidents). In the year ending December 2018 the number of criminal incidents for Property Damage (34,267 incidents) and Burglary/Break & Enter (38,235 incidents) were the lowest in the CSA data holdings, which go back to July 2004.

Victorian criminal incidents recorded by principal offence category, 5 year trend

In the last five years the number of incidents with a principal offence of Crimes against the person has continued to rise. This category has increased by 26.9% or 13,441 incidents since the year ending December 2014. In this same time period Assault and related offences has increased by 20.4% (6,762 incidents), Sexual Offences has increased by 47.5% (2,745 incidents), Stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour has increased by 28.2% (1,620 incidents) and Dangerous and negligent acts endangering people has increased by 46.3% (1,344 incidents).

 

Proportion of Victorian criminal incidents recorded by principal offence category, 5 year trend

In the five years to December 2018 the proportion of criminal incidents with a principal offence of Property and deception offences has decreased. The proportion of Justice procedures offences has steadily increased since the year ending December 2014, along with the counts, up 65.8% (19,121 incidents) to 48,181incidents in the year ending December 2018. Within the Justice procedures offences subdivision, the offence group Justice procedures increased by 154.5% (4,633 incidents) from the year ending December 2014 to 7,632 incidents in the year ending December 2018. Breaches of orders also increased, up by 55.6% (14,488 incidents) to 40,549 incidents in the current reference period.

Please note that movements in recorded crime data may be impacted by changes in legislation and operational police practice. Information is available about notable changes in the Explanatory Notes (External link), refer to this information when comparing data over time.

 

Regional profile

In the last 12 months there was an increase in the number of criminal incidents recorded in Victoria across two of the four police regions. The Western Region decreased (0.7%, 408 incidents), as did the Eastern Region (down 0.4%, 320 incidents). There was an increase in the number of criminal incidents recorded in the North West Metro Region (3.6%, 5,243 incidents) and the Southern Metro Region (3.4%, 2,927 incidents). The five Local Government Areas with the highest criminal incident rates were:

  • Melbourne (15,474.6 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, down 6.7%)
  • Latrobe (13,240.2 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, up 6.4%)
  • Yarra (11,532.4 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, up 5.2%)
  • Mildura (10,030.8 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, up 14.9%)
  • Greater Shepparton (9,360.7 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, up 3.3%)

 

Further information on the number and types of incidents by Local Government Area is available in the Recorded Criminal Incidents data visualisation at www.crimestatistics.vic.gov.au (External link).

 

Criminal incidents arising in the context of family violence

A criminal incident is counted as having arisen in the context of family violence when Victoria Police have completed an L17 form and a criminal offence has also been recorded. The following graph highlights the number of criminal incidents that were and were not related to a recorded family incident over the past five years.

Victorian criminal incidents recorded by whether family incident related, 5 year trend 

In the last 12 months the proportion of criminal incidents related to a family incident increased from 14.2% to 14.4%. The overall numbers increased 3.1% (1,665 incidents) from 53,926 to 55,591 family violence related criminal incidents.

 

Charge status

The charge status indicates when a charge has been laid by Victoria Police at the time these data were extracted from the LEAP database. In the event that no charges have been recorded the investigation status determines whether the incident is categorised as ‘unsolved’ or ‘no charges laid’. The ‘no charges laid’ category represents all investigation statuses other than ‘unsolved’. Both charge and investigation statuses represent information at a point in time and are subject to change. For more information, please refer to the Glossary and Data Dictionary (External link).

A third of all incidents (35.8% or 138,334 incidents) recorded in the last 12 months resulted in charges being laid while half were unsolved (48.5% or 187,613 incidents).

A charge was laid for the majority (74.1%) of Justice procedures offences in the year ending December 2018 (35,711 incidents). The majority of (71.4%) of offences recorded in the category of Property and deception offences were Unsolved (167,634 incidents). Of the incidents recorded in the category of Crimes against the person, approximately half (48.5%) resulted in charges being laid (30,705 incidents).

For more information about counting rules, please refer to the Explanatory Notes (External link).

Victorian criminal incidents recorded by charge status, year ending December 2018

 

Author
Crime Statistics Agency, 2019
Publisher
Crime Statistics Agency, 2019
Date of Publication

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