Media Release: Decreases in high volume property offences offset by the introduction of COVID-19 related offences

The Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) released the Victorian recorded crime statistics for the year ending 31 December 2020 today.


Despite a 12.1% decrease (36,964 offences) in Property and deception offences the number of recorded offences increased by 2.3% or 12,402 offences to 548,354 in the year ending December 2020. There were 37,505 COVID-19-related breach of Chief Health Officer Directions (CHO) offences recorded, the majority committed between April and October 2020. More information is available paper Police-recorded crime trends in Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic: update to the end of December 2020.


In the 12 months to 31 December 2020 the number of criminal incidents remained relatively stable, with a small increase of 0.3% or 1,371 incidents to 403,689. The rate decreased 1.3% to 6019.7 per 100,000 population.


Alleged offender incidents increased by 29.1% (47,464 incidents) to 210,537 in the last 12 months, with the rate increasing by 26.9% to 3,579.9 per 100,000 population. There were 36,595 alleged offender incidents related to public health (mostly) breaches of CHO directions) processed by Victoria Police between April and December 2020.


In the last 12 months, victim reports decreased by 11.6% to 280,162, business/organisation victim reports decreased by 16.6% to 72,131, as did person victim reports, a decrease of 9.8% to 208,031. The victimisation rate also decreased by 11.2% to 3,102.1 reports per 100,000 Victorians.


Family incidents increased 9.4% in the last 12 months to the highest on record at 92,521 incidents. The rate of family incidents recorded also increased by 7.6% to 1,379.7 incidents per 100,000 population, as did the monthly average, up from 7,045 in 2019, to 7,710 incidents per month in 2020.


CSA Chief Statistician Fiona Dowsley said that “changes in mobility and everyday activity during COVID-19 restrictions have influenced crime trends, with decreases recorded in steal from a retail store and other property related offences, while the introduction of new COVID-19-related offences have seen an increase in alleged offenders processed by Victoria Police. There has also been a reduction in the number of recorded victims of crime.”


More detailed information is available on the latest crime data webpage. 


For further information please contact:  
Crime Statistics Agency  
Email: (External link)


^ Please note that movements over time in recorded crime data may be impacted by changes in legislation and operational police practice.