Recorded Criminal Incidents

A recorded criminal incident is a criminal event that may include multiple offences, alleged offenders and/or victims that is recorded on the LEAP database on a single date and at one location. For more information about counting rules, please refer to the Explanatory Notes.

Key movements in the number and rate of criminal incidents

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

Since early 2020 Victoria has been responding to the global COVID-19 pandemic through the use of public health and social responses. In Victoria, these responses have resulted in periods with varying levels of restrictions on people’s movements; including working from home wherever possible, remote learning for students, the introduction of curfews, temporary closures of some businesses, restrictions on activities deemed non-essential, limits to social gatherings, and new hygiene sanitation practices, including the introduction of mask-wearing in public. The Victorian Government public health response to COVID-19 has been supported by the introduction of six new COVID-19-related offences codes relating to breaches of Chief Health Officer Directions. There were 32,713 breach of Chief Health Officer Directions offences recorded, driving the significant increase in Public health and safety offences.  

Criminal Incidents - Tabular Visualisation

The criminal incidents data visualisation contains the number and rate of criminal incidents in Victoria. You can also view crime data by local government area in the latest crime data by area. Data for these visualisations are available via the Download data button on the latest crime data webpage.

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 Police-recorded crime trends in Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic: update to the end of September.

Notable movements – criminal incidents

In the last 12 months, the number of criminal incidents recorded increased for Other offences (up 4,263.2% or 32,315 incidents), Drug offences (up 13.6% or 2,272 incidents) and Justice procedures offences (up 4.4% or 2,229 incidents). In contrast decreases were observed for Property and deception offences (down 6.3% or 15,083 incidents) and Public order and security offences (down 21.4% or 5,037 incidents).

The offence types that have contributed to the increase in Criminal incidents include Public health and safety offences up 31,773.5% or 32,409 to 32,511 incidents, Breach family violence order up 10.8% or 2,284 to 23,355 incidents and Drug possession up 13.8% or 1,668 to 13,751 incidents. In the year ending September 2020 data six new COVID-19-related Breach of Chief Health Officer Directions offences codes were introduced and are included in the Public health and safety offences., driving the large increase in this category. For more information about the impacts of COVID-19 on crime to end of September 2020 please see the CSA paper Police-recorded crime trends in Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic: update to the end of September.

In the five years to September 2020, the number of criminal incidents with a principal offence of Property and deception offences decreased by 15.8% (42,056 incidents) while increases were noted for Justice procedures offences (up 16.2% or 7,360 incidents) and Crimes against the person (up 11.5% or 6,665 incidents).

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.


Crime Statistics Agency, 2020
Crime Statistics Agency, 2020
Date of Publication