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 incidents and rate per 100,000 population, 10 year trend

 

 

In the last 12 months, the number of criminal incidents recorded increased by 7,761 incidents and the rate per 100,000 population remained stable. This is the lowest criminal incident rate since the year ending March 2015. Over the last 10 years the number of criminal incidents recorded by Victoria Police has increased 23.7% and the rate per 100,000 population has also increased, up 2.4% from the year ending March 2010.

 

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 principal offence categories that showed significant upward trends for criminal incidents were:

  • Assault and related offences (up 3.6% in the last 12 months, from 39,025 to 40,428)
  • Robbery (up 6.4% in the last 12 months, from 2,511 to 2,671)
  • Stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour (up 10.0% in the last 12 months, from 6,777 to 7,456)
  • Theft (up 4.5% in the last 12 months, from 131,037 to 136,910)
  • Deception (up 12.0% in the last 12 months, from 20,229 to 22,653)
  • Drug use and possession (up 11.3% in the last 12 months, from 10,873 to 12,097)
  • Weapons and explosives offences (up 9.5% in the last 12 months, from 8,810 to 9,645)
  • Breaches of orders (up 7.7% in the last 12 months, from 38,260 to 41,223).

The major principal offence categories that showed significant downward trends for the last 24 months for criminal incidents were:

  • Burglary/Break and enter (down 13.8% in the last 12 months, from 42,754 to 36,869).

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 the number of criminal incidents increased in all offence divisions. Criminal incidents with a principal offence of Crimes against the person increased by 3.8% or 2,356 incidents to 63,986. This was driven by a 3.6% (1,403 incidents) increase in Assault & related offence incidents and a 10.0% (679 incidents) increase in Stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour incidents in the year ending March 2019. Assault and related offences made up the largest proportion of Crimes against the person incidents (63.2%).

Criminal incidents with a principal offence of Property and deception offences remained stable in the last 12 months at 233,039 (up 72 incidents). Theft increased by 4.5% (5,873 incidents) and Deception increased 12.0% (2,424 incidents. Incidents with a principal offence of Theft made up the largest proportion of Property and deception offences (58.7%). In contrast both Burglary/Break and enter (down 13.8%, 5,885 incidents) and Property Damage (down 6.4%, 2,290 incidents) decreased in the year ending March 2019.

In the last 12 months criminal incidents with a principal offence of Drug offences also increased by 11.0% or 1,617 incidents to 16,260. Criminal incidents with a principal offence of Drug use and possession drove this increase, up 1,224 incidents. Drug use and possession made up the largest proportion of Drug offences (74.4%).

Compared with the previous reference period the number of criminal incidents with a principal offence of Justice procedures offences increased by 7.3% (3,350 incidents) to 48,987. This increase was driven by an increase in Breaches of orders incidents, up 7.7% (2,963 incidents). Breaches of orders made up the largest proportion of Justice Procedures offences (84.2%).

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 March 2019 the number of criminal incidents increased by 12.5% (42,918 incidents). This increase was driven by criminal incidents with a principal offence of Justice procedures offences up 58.4% (18,062 incidents). In the last five years this offence type had only one decrease, down 4.7% (2,229 incidents) in the year ending March 2018.

In the last five years the number of incidents with a principal offence of Property and deception offences increased 5.0% (11,038 incidents) with a peak in the year ending March 2017. Following a 12.6% decrease (33,644 incidents) to the year ending March 2018, this offence type remained stable at 0.0% (72 incidents) in the last 12 months. This five year increase was driven by Theft (up 9.7% or 12,155 incidents) and Deception (up 46.3% or 7,167 incidents). In contrast both Burglary/Break & enter (down 14.2% or 6,101 incidents) and Property damage (down 5.8% or 2,069 incidents) decreased.

In the year ending March 2019 the number of criminal incidents for Burglary/Break & enter and Property Damage 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

 

The other driver in this increase since the year ending March 2019 was criminal incidents with a principal offence of Crimes against the person. This category has continued to increase year on year, and has increased 28.3% or 14,096 incidents since the year ending March 2015. In the last five years Assault and related offences has increased by 22.9% (7,532 incidents), as has Sexual offences up 45.6% (2,664 incidents). In the last 5 years Stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour increased 27.7% (1,617 incidents).

 

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

 

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 all four police regions. There was an increase in the number of criminal incidents recorded in the North West Metro Region (up 2.2% or 3,225 incidents), Southern Metro Region (up 3.2% or 2,790 incidents), Eastern Region (up 1.1%, 900 incidents) and Western Region (up 1.3% or 810 incidents). The five Local Government Areas with the highest criminal incident rates were:

  • Melbourne (14,767.7 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, down 6.7%)
  • Latrobe (13,193.5 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, up 5.8%)
  • Yarra (11,066.9 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, up 2.8%)
  • Mildura (9,865.1 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, up 13.5%)
  • Greater Shepparton (9,376.5 incidents per 100,000 estimated resident population, up3.4%)

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 numbers of criminal incidents related to a family violence incident increased 5.3% (2,853 incidents) from 53,722 to 56,575. The proportion of criminal incidents related to a family incident increased from 14.2% to 14.6% in the last 12 months and increased from 11.2% in the year ending March 2015.

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.

 

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 criminal incidents (35.9%) recorded in the last 12 months resulted in charges being laid while half were unsolved (48.2%).

A charge was laid for the majority (73.8%) of Justice procedures offences and Drug offences (61.4%) in the year ending March 2019. The majority of (71.3%) of offences recorded for Property and deception offences were Unsolved. Of the incidents recorded in the category of Crimes against the person, approximately half (48.1%) resulted in charges being laid.

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

 

Victorian criminal incidents recorded by charge status, year ending March 2019

 

 

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

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