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 there were decreases in the number (6,388 incidents) and rate per 100,000 population (237.7) for criminal incidents. This is the lowest total number of criminal incidents since September 2015 and the lowest criminal incident rate since the year ending September 2014. Over the last 10 years the number of criminal incidents recorded by Victoria Police has increased 22.2% from 314,326, and the rate per 100,000 population has also increased, up by 1.5% from 5,851.3 in the year ending September 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:

  • Sexual offences (up 6.7% from 8,010 to 8,544)
  • Stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour (up 6.4% from 6,745 to 7,175)

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

  • Property damage (down 3.0% from 36,070 to 35,004)
  • Burglary/Break and enter (down 14.1% from 46,494 to 39,928)
  • Disorderly and offensive conduct (down 6.3% from 13,335 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 2.3% or 1,397 incidents. This was driven by a 13.6% (564 incidents) increase in Assault & related offence 6.7% (534 incidents) increase in Sexual offences incidents to 8,544 in the year ending September 2018. Assault and related offences made up the largest proportion of Crimes against the person incidents (63.0%) followed by Sexual offences (13.6%) and Stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour (11.4%).

The number of criminal incidents with a principal offence of Property and deception offences decreased by 8,922 incidents or 3.7% in the last 12 months. This was primarily driven by a 14.1% (6,566 incidents) decrease in Burglary/Break and enter, which recorded 39,928 incidents in the year ending September 2018. The overall count of Property and deception offences incidents are the lowest since the year ending September 2015.

Compared to the previous reference period the number of criminal incidents with a principal offence of Justice procedures offences increased by 3.3% (1,520 incidents). This was driven by a 4.5% (1,721 incidents) increase in Breaches of orders incidents.

Please note that movements in recorded crime data, especially at the offence code level, 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 September 2018 the number of criminal incidents with a principal offence of Property and deception offences has fluctuated with a peak in the year ending September 2016. While Property and deception offences have decreased in the last 12 months the number of criminal incidents has increased by 2.2% (5,097 incidents) since the year ending September 2014. In the year ending September 2018 the number of criminal incidents for Property Damage (35,004 incidents) and Burglary/Break & Enter (39,928 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 26.4% or 13,102 incidents since the year ending September 2014. In this same time period Assault and related offences has increased by 19.3% (6,396 incidents), Sexual Offences has increased by 53.2% (2,968 incidents), Stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour has increased by 27.4% (1,541 incidents) and Dangerous and negligent acts endangering people has increased by 51.4% (1,443 incidents).

 

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

 

In the five years to September 2018 the proportions 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 September 2014, along with the counts, up 79.8% (21,037 incidents) to 47,386 incidents in the year ending September 2018. Within the Justice procedures offences subdivision, the offence group Justice procedures increased by 148.1% (4,466 incidents) from the year ending September 2014 to 7,482 incidents in the year ending September 2018. Breaches of orders also increased, up by 71.0% (16,571 incidents) to 39,904 incidents in the current reference period.
 

Regional profile

In the last 12 months there was a decrease in the number of criminal incidents recorded in Victoria across three of the four police regions. The Western Region decreased (5.2%, 3,376 incidents), as did the Eastern Region (4.2%, 3,590 incidents) and the Southern Metro Region (3.0%, 2,692 incidents). There was an increase in the number of criminal incidents recorded in the North West Metro Region (2.1%, 3,140 incidents). The five Local Government Areas with the highest criminal incident rates were:

  • Melbourne (15,765.1 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, down 5.3%)
  • Latrobe (13,212.2 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, up 3.4%)
  • Yarra (11,559.8 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, up 4.0%)
  • Mildura (9,580.5 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, up 6.3%)
  • Greater Shepparton (9,326.0 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, up 3.0%)

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 14.0% to 14.3%. The overall numbers increased 0.2% (89 incidents) from 54,689 to 54,778 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 137,698 incidents) recorded in the last 12 months resulted in charges being laid while half were unsolved (48.7% or 187,123 incidents).

A charge was laid for the majority (74.6%) of Justice procedures offences in the year ending September 2018 (35,352 incidents). The majority of (71.6%) of offences recorded in the category of Property and deception offences were Unsolved (167,677 incidents). Of the incidents recorded in the category of Crimes against the person, approximately half (49.3%) resulted in charges being laid (30,915 incidents).

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

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

 

 

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

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