Media Release: Why is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data not available online?

What is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status?

Victoria Police captures the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status of people in their LEAP database using the Standard Indigenous Question (SIQ). The CSA obtains this information from Victoria Police and can then use it to produce statistics for the state of Victoria.


What is the quality of this data?

Over time, the quality of the SIQ data item provided by Victoria Police has been declining, with the number of Unknown Indigenous status increasing over time. The rate of unknown records at the year ending March 2019 was 57.2% for alleged offenders and for victims of crime it was 64.1%[1]. To improve the quality of alleged offender incident data for public release, we have previously applied a ‘most frequent’ counting rule (see below).


What is the ‘most frequent’ rule?

A person has either a yes or no response to SIQ and under this counting rule the most frequently appearing response is taken as the response. If the person only has one meaningful response (‘yes’ or ‘no’), 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. Until recently, this rule has improved data coverage sufficiently to be of general use and included in the CSA’s publication of recorded crime statistics.


Why is the CSA not producing these data on the website?

Due to current levels of missing data the CSA advises that these data are not considered sufficiently reliable for use and from 20 June 2019 we will no longer release Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status as part of the standard quarterly statistics.


In early 2019 Victoria Police identified an issue with the extraction of responses to the SIQ from LEAP and advised that this extraction issue may be contributing to the declining data quality. Once Victoria Police investigates and resolves this issue, we will recommence publication of these data once data of sufficient quality is received.


How to access these data?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data will only be available via the CSA data consultancy service (External link).


Still not sure?

Give us a call or let us know what you are trying to look at and we’ll be happy to try and assist.

Crime Statistics Agency (External link)

03 8684 1808 (business hours only)


[1] As per an assessment of the CSA’s recorded crime information as received from Victoria Police on 18th April 2019.

Crime Statistics Agency, 2019


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