Crime impacts negatively on the community in terms of personal security, the attractiveness of an area for recreation, and on general amenity. The incidence of crime is both a cause and symptom of low quality of life, and is associated with poverty, exclusion and the need for support services.
Data on offences recorded have been accessed for 2009-10, 2008-09, 2007-08, 2006-07 and 2005-06 from Victoria Police 2006-07 Crime Statistics (see also Official Release, Crime Statistics 2006-07), and for 2004-05 from Region, Division, LGA Statistics 2005-06.
The Victoria Police's Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) database stores particulars of all crimes brought to the notice of police. The database is updated constantly. A copy is downloaded each night for use by various areas of the Victoria Police to produce crime statistics and conduct data analysis. Financial year data are obtained from a version downloaded in mid-July. As the database is updated constantly, data may be different when compared with that obtained from a more recent version of the LEAP database.
The number of recorded offences in two broad categories are expressed as a rate per 100,000 population. The ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP) at the start of the financial year is used. The latest available ERP series is used to produce the rate, so the rate published on the CIV website may differ slightly to that previously published by Victoria Police.
Recorded Offences for Crimes against the Person: Includes the offence categories of homicide, rape, sex (non rape), robbery, assault and abduction/kidnap.
Recorded Offences for Crimes against Property: Includes the offence categories of arson, property damage, burglary, deception, handle stolen goods and theft.
Notes regarding the counting of crimes:
Caution should be exercised when interpreting recorded crime statistics, as only those offences which become known to police and for which a crime report has been completed are included.
For all crime against the person, and most crime against property, the number of 'offences' is the number of principal victims for each separate occurrence of the offence (e.g. if two persons were assaulted by three offenders, two offences of assault would be counted).
An incident will generally only have one distinct course of criminal conduct (and hence one 'offence') unless there is a break in time and/or location (e.g. if an offender presents three valueless cheques to a teller only one offence would be counted, but if the three cheques were presented at different times or at different branches then three offences would be counted).
Only the most serious offence which best describes a distinct course of criminal conduct is counted, even though an offender may be charged with other offences resulting from the one incident (e.g. if an offender carrying a firearm commits an armed robbery, only the offence of armed robbery would be counted although the offender would also be charged with possession of a firearm).
Notes regarding particular crime categories:
Since the introduction of the Victoria Police Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence in late 2004, reporting of assaults and property damage related to family violence incidents has increased. Victims of family violence are gaining more confidence to tell someone what has happened and to receive help.
The number of rape offences recorded in each year is influenced to some extent by incidents that have occurred over a long period of time but only have come to the attention of police when the victim comes forward to report the crimes. Reported rapes that occurred more than one month prior increased by 41.1% in 2006-07 compared with the previous financial year (with a 47.1% increase for those that occurred more than one year prior). Reported rapes that occured less than one month prior declined slightly.