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Home > Subjects > Society > Crime and Justice > Crime and Justice Statistics Queensland

Crime and Justice Statistics Queensland 1996-97

Preface
Abbreviations

1 Introduction
2 Executive summary
3 Crime statistics

4 Courts statistics

5 Corrections statistics

6 Other related statistics

Appendix 1 Crime statistics – tables
Appendix 2 Courts statistics – tables
Appendix 3 Corrections statistics – tables
Appendix 4 Other related statistics – tables
Appendix 5 Offence classifications

Appendix 6 Other classifications

References
Glossary
Further reading

Preface

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the final issue of Law and Order, Queensland (Cat. no. 4502.3) in August 1993. Since that time, there has been no publication which has provided a summary of crime and justice statistics for Queensland. This publication aims to fill that gap. Users will find that although Crime and Justice Statistics, Queensland replaces Law and Order, Queensland, it does not replicate it. Many crimes are not reported to the police. The results of crime victimisation surveys have been included to provide estimates of ‘actual’ crime levels. Information on police strength and regional crime have not been included, as these areas are covered in more detail in the Queensland Police Service’s annual Statistical Review. Information from Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts have been combined in order to provide an overview of how crime is handled in Queensland’s courts. Separate data for juveniles and adults have been provided, but where possible they have also been combined to achieve the same aim. In the preparation of Crime and Justice Statistics, Queensland, the Government Statistician’s Office acknowledges the assistance of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Queensland Police Service, the Department of Justice & Attorney-General, Qstats, the Department of Families, Youth & Community Care, and the Queensland Corrective Services Commission. For further information and additional copies contact Karen Cosgrove on (07) 3224 8953 or Barry Greenway on (07) 3224 4126, Crime Statistics Unit, Government Statistician’s Office.

Abbreviations

ABS Australian Bureau of Statistics
AIC Australian Institute of Criminology
ANCO Australian National Classification of Offences
DFYCC Department of Families, Youth & Community Care
GSO Government Statistician’s Office
Justice Department of Justice & Attorney-General
n.e.c. Not elsewhere classified
QCSC Queensland Corrective Services Commission
QOC Queensland Offence Classification
QPS Queensland Police Service
SETONS Self Enforcing Ticketable Offence Notices System

 

1. Introduction

This publication is the first in an planned series, presenting an overview of crime and justice statistics for Queensland, together with historical series. It provides the following:

Additional crime related statistics have been provided in this issue covering homicide victims from registered deaths and domestic violence protection orders.

 

2. Executive summary

Estimated crime levels

In 1995, 4.7 per cent of persons aged 15 years and over were victims of personal crimes, and 11.4 per cent of households were victims of household crimes.1

A significant amount of crime is never reported to the police. Reporting rates in 1995 were higher for offences that were likely to have included property theft. The 1995 Crime and Safety Survey showed that crime was reported to police by:

1 As some households or persons were victims of more than one type of offence, the sum of crime victims, for each offence type may be more than the total number of personal or household victims.

Recorded crime

In 1996–97, the Queensland Police Service recorded 381,525 offences, an average annual increase of 6 per cent from the 225,290 offences in 1987–88.

The most common recorded offences in 1996–97 were stealing (other than motor vehicle theft) (27%), breaking and entering (18%) and property damage other than arson (14%).

Between 1987–88 and 1996–97 on a per capita basis:

Victimisation was highest for those aged 15 to 24 years, and tended to decrease with increasing age. With the exception of sexual offences, males were more likely than females to be victims of violent offences. For example in 1996–97:

Young males were also more likely to be offenders.2 Of the 159,148 persons arrested, summonsed or cautioned for offences in 1996–97, 83% were males. Offending was highest in the 17 to 19 year age group and decreased with increasing age.2 Offender is as identified by police not as proven guilty in a court of law.

Courts

There were 219,092 defendants disposed in Queensland criminal courts in 1996–97, of which 96 per cent were adults (aged 17 years and over). The remainder were juveniles (aged 10 to 16 years) (3%) and or companies (1%).

The largest number of charges disposed against juveniles and adults were for:


The SETONS court was introduced in 1992–93, which enabled certain minor offences (mostly traffic and driving) to be dealt with by the automatic issuing of Self Enforcing Ticketable Offence Notices. In 1996–97, more than half of driving and traffic offences were dealt with in this way, with fines being issued for all SETONS offences.

Although charges against juveniles represented only 5 per cent of all charges, juveniles accounted for a much larger percentage of charges for:


In 1996–97, 93 per cent of juvenile defendants and 88 per cent of adult defendants were found guilty.

Most of the adults who were found guilty received monetary penalties as their most serious penalty.3

More severe penalties were received for the more serious offences. All offenders convicted of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter or rape were sentenced to imprisonment, as well as more than half of those convicted of other sexual offences and arson.

Community orders are used as penalties for juvenile offenders more often than for adults.

3 Defendants found guilty and receiving more than one penalty are counted by only the most serious penalty. For instance, a defendant sentenced to prison as well as being fined, will be counted only for imprisonment.

Corrections

A significant feature of Queensland prison statistics is the sharp increase in prisoner numbers in recent years. Between June 1993 and June 1997 prisoner numbers increased on average 17 per cent each year. At 30 June 1997, there were 3,839 persons in prison and 109 in youth detention, including both sentenced and unsentenced.

Of all persons in prison and youth detention at 30 June 1997:


Indigenous persons are over-represented in Queensland’s correctional institutions, making up 25 per cent of prisoners and 55 per cent of youth detainees at 30 June 1997. This represented a rate of 1,303 Indigenous persons in custodial corrections per 100,000 population compared with 104 per 100,000 population for non-Indigenous persons.

There were 5 juveniles serving sentences in youth detention from 2 to 5 years at 30 June 1997. There were none serving a sentence exceeding 5 years although under S.121 of the Juvenile Justice Act 1992, a juvenile can be subject to a maximum detention period of life.

At 30 June 1997, 51 per cent of persons in youth detention were unsentenced (i.e. awaiting trial or sentence), compared with 12 per cent in prisons. A study is currently being undertaken by the Department of Families, Youth and Community Care to investigate the reasons for the large proportion of unsentenced persons in youth detention.

Although the flow of prisoners over a year is dominated by prisoners serving shorter sentences, counts of prisoners made on any one day are dominated by prisoners with longer sentences. At 30 June 1997:

The main offences for which persons were in prison on 30 June 1997 were:

Mortality (homicide)

There were 71 homicide deaths in Queensland in 1996.

The number of homicide deaths has varied between 53 and 79 persons per year over the period from 1987 to 1996.

Over the ten year period from 1987 to 1996:

Cutting and piercing instruments (28%) or firearms and explosives (25%) caused the majority of homicides.

Domestic violence protection orders

In 1996–97 there were 13,183 applications made for protection orders under the Domestic Violence (Family Protection) Act 1989. Available detailed information suggests that the majority of aggrieved spouses (the spouse the order is to protect) are female.

Although the majority of applications since the introduction of the Act have been lodged by aggrieved spouses, the number of police lodged applications has increased to be almost half of all applications in 1996–97 (46% of all).

 

3.Crime statistics

3.1 Estimated crime victimisation levels

Crime victimisation surveys provide data on selected crimes and the victims of those crimes.4 The surveys only measure crimes reported by householders as victims. They exclude crimes against institutions and crimes without victims (for example, traffic, prostitution and drug offences).

The 1995 Queensland Crime and Safety Survey undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS 1995) estimated that, of the 2,461,800 persons aged 15 years and over in Queensland, 116,100 or 4.7 per cent were victims of one or more personal crimes (table 1.1 in Appendix 1). These, included:

Of the 1,201,200 households in Queensland in 1995, 136,900 or 11.4 per cent were victims of one or more household crimes. These included:

While the majority of victims were victimised only once, some experienced more than one incident. Indeed, the 1995 survey revealed that victims of household crime were three times more likely to be victimised a second time than a household was to be victimised at all, and personal crime victims were eight times more likely to experience further incidents than would be expected from the average victimisation rate (GSO 1996, p. 21).

The ABS crime and safety surveys suggest that the crime level in Queensland increased for some offences between 1993 and 1995. However, only increases in attempted break and enter and robbery5 victimisations were statistically significant. Changes in other offences were not statistically significant and could be due to sampling error.6

A significant amount of crime is never reported to the police (table 1.2). Reporting rates in 1995 were higher for offences that were likely to have included property theft. The survey showed that crime was reported to police by:

4 As some households or persons were victims of more than one type of offence, the sum of crime victims for each offence type may be more than the total number of personal  or household crime victims.
5 Additional questions regarding the offence of robbery were asked in the New South Wales Crime and Safety Survey 1996. The survey identified some incidents reported as robbery that would be more accurately defined as assault. As a result robbery rates in Queensland may also have been overestimated.
6 For more information on data reliability in survey information, see appendix three of Crime and Safety Trends in Queensland, GOS, 1996.

3.2 Recorded crime7

In 1996-–97, the Queensland Police Service recorded 381,525 offences, an average annual increase of 6 per cent from 225,290 in 1987-–88 (table 1.3 in Appendix 1). Although some of the increase may be due to changes in criminal activity over the period, it is also likely that it is partly due to increased reporting of offences, changes in legislation and police activity, and improved recording procedures.

As indicated in figure 3.1 (see also table 1.3), the largest numbers of recorded offences in 1996–97 were for:

  Figure 3.1 Recorded offences by offence group, Queensland, 1996-–97

(a) Includes prostitution, liquor, gaming, racing & betting, vagrancy, good order and miscellaneous offences
Source: QPS, Queensland Police Service Statistical Review 1996–97

7 The offence classification used in recorded crime is ANCO (see Appendix 5)

3.2.1 Trends in recorded crime

Between 1987–88 and 1996–97 there were recorded increases in robbery (average annual increase of 11 %), and, assault (up 6% per annum) and and rape (including attempted rape) (up 6 per cent per annum) (figure 3.2 and table 1.4). Increases in serious assault since 1992–93 have been offset by decreases in minor assault.8  Murder, attempted murder and other sexual offences have fluctuated over the period, but have not shown revealed any identifiable trend.

8 The 1996-97 Queensland Police Statistical Review states that: 'It appears police are tending to classify a reported offence as Serious rather than Minor Assault. A preliminary investigation into this trend suggests that the interpretation of the definition of Bodily Harm has gradually broadened, with police becoming more likely to regard a minor injury assault as Bodily Harm (which is counted as Serious Assault).' (QPS1997) 

Figure 3.2  Trends in selected personal offences, Queensland, 1987–88

 

Source: QPS, Queensland Police Service Annual Reports and Statistical Reviews; ABS, Australian Demographic Statistics, December quarters 1992, 1994 and 1996; and, September quarter 1997, Cat. no. 3101.0 (mean resident population)

Between 1987–88 and 1996–97, there has been a steady increase in recorded offences for other property damage (11 % annual average) (figure 3.3). Arson, breaking & entering, motor vehicle theft, and stealing all increased between 1987–88 and 1990–91, and have been relatively stable since then.

Figure 3.3 Trends in selected property offences, Queensland, 1987–88 to 1996–97

Source: QPS, Queensland Police Service Annual Reports and Statistical Reviews; ABS, Australian Demographic Statistics, December quarters 1992, 1994 and 1996; and September quarter 1997, Cat. no. 3101.0 (mean resident population)

There were increases across all types of drug offences on a per capita basis between 1987–88 to and 1996–97, with the largest being for producing drugs (average annual increase of 17 %) (figure 3.4). These increases may not be solely due to increases in offending, as it is possible that changes in police activity could have influenced the recorded trend.

Figure 3.4 Trends in selected drug offences, Queensland, 1987–88 to 1996–97

Source: QPS, Queensland Police Service Annual Reports and Statistical Reviews; ABS, Australian Demographic Statistics, December quarters 1992, 1994 and 1996; and September quarter 1997, Cat. no. 3101.0 (mean resident population)

It is possible that changes in recorded offences shown in figure 3.5 could have also been influenced by levels of police activity. The decreases in drink driving in 1991–92 are partly due to the introduction of Traffic Offence Notices in December 1991, which resulted in many of these offences being recorded by the Queensland Transport Department rather than by Queensland Police.

Figure 3.5 Trends in selected other offences, Queensland, 1987–88 to 1996–97

Source: QPS, Queensland Police Service Annual Reports and Statistical Reviews; ABS, Australian Demographic Statistics, December quarters 1992, 1994 & 1996, & September quarter 1997, Cat. no. 3101.0 (mean resident population)

3.2.2 Victims of recorded crime

Profiles of victims of violent offences by sex and age tend to show similar relationships each year (see recent editions of the Queensland Police Service Statistical Review). In 1996–97, and with the exception of sexual offences, males were more likely than females to be victims of violent offences (see table 1.5 in Appendix 1).

Table 1.5 shows that victimisation was usually highest for those aged 15 to 24 years, and tended to decrease with age from 25 years on. Of persons aged 15 to 24 years, approximately eight males in 1,000 were victims of serious assault, compared to with between five and six females in 1,000. For minor assault the situation is reversed for this age group, with females slightly more likely to be victims than males. This contrasts with the results of victimisation surveys, which usually show male victimisation in the lower age groups to be almost twice that for females ( GSO, 1996 p. 17). It may be that males in this age group are not as likely to report less serious assaults to police.

For sexual offences victimisation was highest for those aged under 20 years, with victimisation decreasing with increasing age for those aged 20 years or over. T, there were approximately five victims in 1,000 females aged 15 to 19 years, compared with less than one male victim per 1,000 in the same age group.9

9. Further information on profiles of victims are provided in the Queensland Police Service Annual Statistical Review, 1996–97.

3.2.3 Offenders10

Police statistics on persons arrested, summonsed or cautioned for offences in 1996–97 reveal characteristics of offenders which are replicated each year (see recent editions of the Queensland Police Service Statistical Review). During the period, action was taken against 131,391 males, compared with 27,757 females (figure 3.6). For most offences, the male offenders outnumbered female offenders by around five to one. For breaking and entering and property damage this relationship was almost ten to one, and for sexual offences 99 per cent of persons arrested, summonsed or cautioned were male.

Offending was highest in the 17–19 years age group and decreased with increasing age (more details in table 1.6)

10 Offenders as identified by police, not as proven guilty in a court of law.

Figure 3.6 Offenders arrested, summonsed or cautioned by selected offence groups, by sex, Queensland, 1996–97

Source: QPS, Queensland Police Service Statistical Review 1996–97

 

4 Courts statistics

4.1 Trends in courts statistics

There were 220,212 defendants disposed in Queensland criminal courts in 1996–97, an increase of 17 per cent from 1987–88 (figure 4.1 and table 2.1 in Appendix 2). Over the period, the largest number of defendants were disposed in 1989–90 (235,075).

In September 1992 the SETONS court was introduced, which enabled certain minor offences to be dealt with by the automatic issuing of Self Enforcing Ticketable Offence Notices. In the first two years of operation these covered traffic and driving offences, although the scope has now been widened to include other offence types, e.g. Local Government and Electoral Commission offences. Defendants for SETONS offences are not included in the 1992–93 and 1993–94 figures, and therefore the data for these years can not be compared with other years.

Juvenile (3%) and company (1%) defendants made up only a small proportion of all defendants with adult defendants representing 96 per cent of defendants in 1996–97.

11 Under Queensland legislation, persons charged with committing an offence when they are 17 years or over are generally treated as adults. Persons aged 10 to 16 years are treated as juveniles, while those aged less than 10 years are not legally responsible for any offence.

Figure 4.1 Defendants(a) disposed by type, Queensland, 1987–88 to 1996–97

(a) Defendants disposed by a guilty finding, acquittal or discharge. See other footnotes on table 2.1.
(b) Excludes defendants dealt with in the SETONS court for minor traffic and driving offences.
Source: ABS, Law and Order, Queensland, 1987–88 to 1991–92, Cat. no. 4502.3; ABS (unpublished data); Justice, Courts Data Base (unpublished data); DFYCC (unpublished data)

 

4.2  Sex and age of defendants

Males made up over three-quarters (79%) of all adult and juvenile defendants in 1996–97 (figure 4.2a and table 2.1). Just over half of defendants were aged 17 to 29 years, with those aged 17 to 19 years representing 14 per cent and those aged 20 to 29 years 37 per cent.

Figure 4.2a Adult and juvenile defendants(a) by age and sex, Queensland, 1996–97
(a) Defendants disposed by a guilty finding, acquittal or discharge and represents the number of defendants appearing before courts, not unique persons dealt with during the period.
(b) Juvenile defendants aged 20 years and over are included in 17–19 years.
Source: Justice, Courts Data Base (unpublished data); DFYCC (unpublished data)

Figure 4.2b  Adult and juvenile defendants(a) per 100,000 population, by age and sex, Queensland, 1996–97
(a) Defendants disposed by a guilty finding, acquittal or discharge and represents the number of defendants appearing before courts not unique persons dealt with during the period.
(b) Juvenile defendants aged 20 years and over are included in 17–19 years.
Source: Justice, Courts Data Base (unpublished data); DFYCC (unpublished data), ABS, Estimated Resident Population by Age and Sex, States and Territories of Australia, June 1998 (Cat. no. 3201.0) ERP

4.3  Offence type12

Figure 4.3 shows that driving, traffic and related offences accounted for the largest number of charges disposed in Queensland courts in 1996–97 (166,456 or 47%), primarily for other driving offences (141,145 charges or 40%) and drink driving (19,632 or 5%) (see tables 2.2.1, 2.4.1, 2.4.2 and 2.4.3 in Appendix 2). More than half of other driving offences were dealt with in the SETONS court (87,524 or 25%) (Justice, Courts Data Base, unpublished data).

Other offences with a larger number of charges disposed included:

12 The offence classification used in courts statistics is QOC (see Appendix 5)

Figure 4.3 Charges against adult and juvenile defendants(a) by offence type, Queensland, 1996–97

(a) Charges disposed by a guilty finding, acquittal or discharge.
Source: Justice, Courts Data Base (unpublished data); DFYCC (unpublished data)

Although charges against juveniles represented only 5 per cent of charges against persons in 1996–97 (see tables 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 in Appendix 2), juveniles accounted for a much larger percentage of charges for:

4.4 Conviction rates

Figure 4.4 indicates that conviction rates for adult defendants have increased from 75 per cent in 1987–88 to 88 per cent in 1996–97 (see also table 2.3). Over the three years to 1996–97, the proportion of juvenile defendants found guilty has remained at around 93 per cent (table 2.5 in Appendix 2).

Figure 4.4   Defendants disposed by a guilty finding, Queensland, 1987–88 to 1996–97

(a) Excludes defendants dealt with in the SETONS court for minor traffic and driving offences. Juvenile data not available prior to 1994–95.
Source: ABS, Law and Order, Queensland, 1987–88 to 1991–92, Cat. no. 4502.3; ABS (unpublished data); Justice, Courts Data Base (unpublished data); DFYCC (unpublished data)

4.5 Penalties

Figure 4.5 shows that the majority of penalties imposed on adults in Queensland are monetary, with 168,184 (90%) defendants who were found guilty in 1996–97 being ordered to pay a fine as their most serious penalty.13 All defendants sentenced in the SETONS court were ordered to pay fines (72,243) (Justice, Courts Data Base (unpublished data)). There were 7,921 (4%) defendants sentenced to custodial sentences and 5,939 (3%) to community orders.

Monetary penalties decreased for several years after 1989–90. Note the data for those years can not be compared with other years as defendants found guilty, but with no conviction recorded, and those processed in the SETONS court are excluded. The number of monetary penalties increased by 20 per cent between 1994–95 and 1996–97.

The number sentenced to community orders (community service and probation) increased to a high of 15,150 in 1992–93, the increase being primarily in community service (table 2.6 in Appendix 2). Subsequently, the use of community service as a penalty declined and has been constant since 1994–95.

13 Defendants found guilty and receiving more than one penalty are counted by only the most serious penalty (see Appendix 6, section 2). For instance, a defendant sentenced to prison as well as being fined, will be counted only for imprisonment.

Figure 4.5  Adult offenders by most serious penalty(a), Queensland, 1987–88 to 1996–97

(a) Includes no penalty imposed.
(b) Excludes defendants found guilty but where no conviction was recorded and defendants dealt with in the SETONS court.
Source: ABS, Law and Order, Queensland, 1987–88 to 1991–92, Cat. no. 4502.3; ABS (unpublished data); Justice, Courts Data Base (unpublished data); DFYCC, (unpublished data).

Community orders were more generally used as penalties for juvenile offenders, with 1,189 (21%) sentenced to community service and 1,143 (20%) to probation in 1996–97 (table 2.6). A further 864 (15%) were ordered to be on good behaviour and 470 (8%) were sentenced to youth youth detention—almost half of these sentences were fully suspended (217).

Although the majority of adult offenders were ordered to pay fines as their most serious penalty, offenders found guilty of violent or serious offences were more likely to receive more severe penalties. As shown in figure 4.6, most of the adults found guilty of homicide etc. and robbery and extortion in 1996–97 were sentenced to imprisonment. Within homicide etc., the monetary penalties were fines of around $3,000 to $4,000 imposed on 3 defendants for dangerous driving causing death.

Figure 4.6 Adult offenders by offence type and most serious penalty, Queensland, 1996–97

(a) Includes no penalty imposed.
Source: Justice, Courts Data Base (unpublished data)

From table 2.7 (see Appendix 2) it is apparent that prison sentences are used more often for some offence types.

  • Within homicide etc.all offenders convicted of murder, attempted murder and manslaughter were sentenced to imprisonment.
  • Within assault etc. all offenders convicted of rape were sentenced to imprisonment as were almost two-thirds (60%) of those convicted of other sexual offences.
  • Almost two-thirds (61%) of those convicted of arson (within property damage), and just less than half (46%) of those convicted of burglary and housebreaking (within theft, breaking and entering) were also sentenced to imprisonment.

Community orders were more commonly used as penalties for juveniles (table 2.7), with these penalties being used for 60 per cent or more of those found guilty of:

  • other sexual offences
  • robbery
  • burglary and housebreaking
  • other breaking and entering
  • arson and
  • dealing and trafficking in drugs.

5 Corrections statistics

5.1 Trends in custodial corrections

According to the National Prisoner Census (ABS 1998) there were  3,839 persons in prison and 109 persons in youth detention in Queensland at 30 June 1997 (table 3.1 in Appendix 3).

Figure 5.1 reveals that prisoner numbers have increased sharply since 1993, with an average annual increase of 17 per cent between 1993 and 1997. The Criminal Justice System Monitor volume 3 (CJC, 1998), highlighted the increasing imprisonment rate.

Unsentenced prisoners (i.e. those held on remand pending trial or sentence or awaiting deportation) represented 12 per cent of all prisoners at 30 June 1997, an increase from 10 per cent of all prisoners in 1988.

Figure 5.1 Persons in prison at 30 June, Queensland, 1988 to 1997

Source: AIC, Australian Prisoners, 1988–1993; ABS, Prisoners in Australia, 1994–1997

At 30 June 1997 there were 109 juveniles held in youth detention (figure 5.2 and table 3.1 in Appendix 3 ). Unsentenced persons made up a much larger proportion of those in youth detention (50%) than in prison (12%), in 1997.14

14 A Department of Families, Youth and Community Care study is currently investigating the reason for the large proportion of unsentenced youth held on remand. Early indications are that there is no one causal factor, but a combination of factors such as court processes and the types of offences for which juveniles are appearing. The results of the study are expected to become available on the department's website: www.families.qld.gov.au

Figure 5.2  Persons in youth detention at 30 June, Queensland, 1988 to 1997

Source: AIC, Persons in Juvenile Corrective Institutions, June 1988–June 1993; DFYCC (unpublished data)

5.2 Sex and age

The majority of persons in prison or youth detention are male, representing 95 per cent of persons in custodial institutions at 30 June 1997 (figure 5.3a and table 3.2). Prisoners aged 20 to 29 years formed the largest age group, representing 45 per cent, with a further 26 per cent aged 30 to 39 years.

Figure 5.3a Age and sex of persons in prison or youth detention at 30 June, Queensland, 1997
(a) Persons in youth detention aged 20 years and over are included in 17–19 years.
Source: ABS, Prisoners in Australia, 1997; DFYCC (unpublished data) 

Figure 5.3b Age and sex of persons in prison or youth detention at 30 June, per 100,000 population, Queensland, 1997(a)
(a) At 30 June, persons in youth detention aged 20 years and over are included in 17–19 years.
Source: ABS, Prisoners in Australia, 1997; DFYCC (unpublished data); ABS, Estimated Resident Population by Age and Sex, States and Territories of Australia, June 1998 (Cat. no. 3201.0)

5.3   Indigenous persons

The number of Indigenous (Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) persons in prison as a proportion of the adult Indigenous population is more than ten times higher than that for the non-Indigenous population (figure 5.4 and table 3.3 in Appendix 3). At 30 June 1997, 942 or 25 per cent of persons in Queensland prisons were Indigenous, representing a rate of 1,585 per 100,000 adult Indigenous population. This contrasts with a rate of 116 for the non-Indigenous population. The Indigenous imprisonment rate increased more quickly than the overall imprisonment rate between 1993 and 1997 (up 100% compared with an increase of 69% overall).

Figure 5.4  Prisoners per 100,000 population (a) by Indigenous status, at 30 June, Queensland, 1991 to 1997
(a) Persons aged 17 years and over in the same group.
(b) Balance of offenders including unknown Indigenous status.
Source: AIC, Australian Prisoners, 1991–1993; ABS, Prisoners in Australia, 1994–1997; ABS, Experimental Estimates of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population, 1991–1996 (Cat. no. 3230.0, unpublished data); ABS, Estimated Resident Population by Sex and Age, States and Territories of Australia, June 1991 to June 1997 (Cat. no. 3201.0)

The make-up of Indigenous and non-Indigenous young persons in youth detention is similar to the adult prison population. At 30 June 1997, 55 per cent (60) of youth detainees were Indigenous, representing a rate of 343 per 100,000 Indigenous youth (aged 10 to 16 years), compared with 15 per 100,000 for the non-Indigenous youth population (table 3.3 in Appendix 3).

5.4 Sentence lengths

Almost half (45%) of the sentenced prisoners at 30 June 1997 were serving aggregate sentences16 of 5 years or over (figure 5.5 and table 3.4 in Appendix 3), with 25 per cent serving 5 years up to (but not including) 10 years, and 20 per cent serving sentences of 10 years or over or life. A further 24 per cent had sentences of 2 to 5 years.

Census data provide a representative snapshot of persons at a particular point in time, and in terms of correctional statistics prisoners serving longer sentences for more serious offences tend to dominate the statistics as they remain in custody for longer. However, the flow of prisoners over time gives a different picture, and an examination of prisoners received over a 12 month period would be predominantly represent prisoners with shorter sentences for less serious offences.

16 The aggregate sentence is the longest period that the offender may be detained under sentence in the current episode. The actual period served will be subject to parole and other means of early release.

Figure 5.5 Length of aggregate sentence of adult prisoners at 30 June, Queensland, 1997
Source: ABS, Prisoners in Australia, 1997

At 30 June 1997, there were 5 juveniles (9%) serving sentences in youth detention centres of 2 to 5 years and no juveniles in custody serving sentences which exceeded 5 years.17 Sentences of between 6 months and under 2 years were the most common, and were being served by 29 persons (54%).

17 Under S121 of the Juvenile Justice Act 1992, a juvenile can be subject to a maximum detention period of life.

5.5 Offence types18

The offences for which persons were in prison at 30 June 1997 are shown in figure 5.6 (see also table 3.5). The most serious offence19 for which persons had been imprisoned were:

  • breaking and entering, theft and fraud (803 prisoners or 24%), within which most prisoners were imprisoned for break and enter (523 prisoners or 15%)
  • sex offences (549 prisoners or 16%)
  • robbery and extortion (521 prisoners or 15%), within which most prisoners were imprisoned for robbery (514 prisoners or 15%)
  • assault (435 or 13%)
  • homicide (352 prisoners or 10%), within which most prisoners were imprisoned for murder (246 prisoners or 7%).

18 The offence classification used in corrections statistics is ANCO (see Appendix 5).
19 In corrections statistics the most serious offence is the offence which received the longest sentence of imprisonment.

Figure 5.6   Offence type of adult sentenced prisoners at 30 June, Queensland, 1997
(a) Includes offences in custody.
Source: ABS, Prisoners in Australia, 1997

6. Other related statistics

6.1 Mortality (homicide victims)

According to ABS mortality data, there were 71 homicide deaths comprising 44 males and 27 females, registered in Queensland in 1996 ( table 4.1 in Appendix 4). As can be seen in figure 6.1, the number of homicide deaths varied between 53 and 79 per year over the period from 1987 to 1996.

Figure 6.1 Homicide victims by sex, Queensland, 1987 to 1996

Source: ABS, mortality data, deaths registered (unpublished data)

Over the ten year period from 1987 to 1996, 414 (or 63%) homicide victims were males compared with 240 females. This relationship was reversed for victims aged less than 15 years, where there were 42 female victims compared with 22 male victims (table 4.1 in Appendix 4).

Over the ten year period 1987 to 1996:

  • 10 per cent of homicide victims were aged 14 years and under
  • 19 per cent per cent were aged 15 to 24 years
  • 47 per cent were aged 25 to 44 years
  • 24 per cent were aged 45 years and over.

The majority of homicides were caused by cutting and piercing instruments (181 or 28%), followed by firearms and explosives (162 or 25%) (figure 6.2). With regard to homicides of children aged 14 years and under, 28 per cent (18) were caused by child battering and maltreatment, while 19 per cent (12) were caused by firearms and explosives (table 4.2 in Appendix 4).

Figure 6.2 Homicide victims by cause of death, Queensland, 1987–1996

image50.gif (5835 bytes)

(a) Includes corrosive or caustic substances, late effects of injury and unspecified means.
Source: ABS, mortality data, deaths registered (unpublished data)

6.2 Domestic violence protection orders

The Domestic Violence (Family Protection) Act 1989 (DV Act), which commenced on 21 August 1989, is intended to provide protection to persons against violence by a spouse or partner.

Figure 6.3 reveals that since the introduction of the DV Act, there has been a gradual increase each year in the numbers of applications for protection orders. In 1996–97, there were 13,183 applications made, comprising 7,011 lodged by the aggrieved spouse (the person the order is to protect), 6,070 by the police and 102 by authorised persons (table 4.3 in Appendix 4).

Over the period 1989–90 to 1996–97, the majority of applications have been lodged by aggrieved spouses. Numbers increased substantially until 1993–94, after which the annual number has steadied. Between 1994–95 and 1996–97 the number of applications lodged by police increased by 55 per cent to be almost half (46%) of all applications in 1996–97.

The numbers of applications lodged by authorised persons have made up only a small proportion of the overall number of applications.

Figure 6.3  Applications for protection orders by applicant type, Queensland, 1989–90 to 1996–97
image51.gif (8137 bytes)
Source: DFYCC, Domestic Violence Summary System (unpublished data)

For the 13,183 protection order applications lodged in 1996–97, there were 9,585 protection orders and 7,340 temporary protection orders made (table 4.4 in Appendix 4). (Note: some of the orders made may relate to applications lodged in 1995–96, and similarly some of the applications lodged may have been dealt with in 1997–98.) For any one application there may be one or more protection orders or temporary protection orders or a combination of both. In addition, 4,616 applications were withdrawn, adjourned sine die, dismissed or struck out, order revoked or varied and 53 orders were refused.

Detailed information on aggrieved spouses and their partners and children are only available for approximately two-thirds of all applications. Based on information extracted from available application forms over the period from 1 July 1993 to 30 June 1997, the majority of applicants were female. Of the 13,183 applications in 1996–97, detailed information from 8,252 applications shows that 84 per cent of these applications were for female aggrieved spouses (figure 6.4 and table 4.5 in Appendix 4).

Figure 6.4  Selected applications(a) for protection orders by sex of aggrieved spouse, Queensland, 1993–94 to 1996–97
image52.gif (6533 bytes)
(a) Data excludes approximately one-third of applications, which were unavailable or where the information was incomplete.
Source: DFYCC, Domestic Violence Matters System (unpublished data)

Appendix 1 Crime statistics –  tables

Tables 1.1 and 1.2 contain results of the 1993 National Crime and Safety Survey (ABS 1994), and the 1995 Queensland Crime and Safety Survey (ABS 1995). Data for the offence descriptions are based on a respondent’s perception of whether they have been a victim of crime. Offences may not correspond to legal definitions of offences or to the definitions used elsewhere in this publication. Different counting rules were also applied to those used elsewhere in this publication—victims were counted only once in the surveys, even if they experienced more than one offence (within the same offence type). Persons aged 15 years and over were surveyed, but the sexual assault questions were only asked of females aged 18 years and over.

Detailed tables from the 1995 Queensland Crime and Safety Survey are available in Crime and Safety Trends in Queensland: Survey Findings from 1975 to 1995 (GSO 1996). This publication provides a thorough overview of crime victimisation statistics available for Queensland, and places them in context of national and international statistics. The next available data will be derived from the National Crime and Safety Survey 1998.

Tables 1.3 to 1.6 contain data provided by the Queensland Police Service (QPS). In the police statistics, where one offence (per offence type) is counted per victim reporting an incident, but several offences against one victim may be counted if the victim reports the incidents separately. Criminal offences are not included when they are the responsibility of other bodies (for example, the Australian Federal Police and Queensland Transport).

Additional information including more detail on the counting rules and regional information are available in the annual Queensland Police Service Statistical Review.

(All tables from this publication are displayed on this web site).

Appendix 2 Courts statistics – tables

The Queensland criminal courts statistics for adults have been extracted from the Department of Justice and Attorney-General’s (Justice) administrative systems for Magistrates, District and Supreme courts. Since 1 July 1994, the statistics have been compiled for the department by Qstats (a commercial arm of Queensland Treasury). Prior to that, the statistics were compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The juvenile criminal courts statistics have been provided by the Department of Families, Youth and Community Care (DFYCC) from the department’s administrative systems.

Under Queensland legislation, persons charged with committing an offence when they are 17 years and over are generally treated as adults. Persons aged 10 to 16 years are treated as juveniles, while those aged less than 10 years are not legally responsible for any offence.

The statistics include finalised criminal defendants before Queensland criminal courts. Data for defendants and charges exclude those finalised by transfer to another court level (unless indicated), finalised by the issue of a bench warrant, and appeals. Finalised defendants who appear on one or more than one charges on the same day at the same jurisdiction level of court are counted once only, and are classified to the offence with the most serious penalty (where applicable). If two or more outcomes are the same then the most serious offence within this group is counted. Classifications for offence types, most serious offence and most serious penalty are included in appendix 5.

(All tables from this publication are displayed on this web site).

Appendix 3 Corrections statistics—tables

The National Prisoner Census is conducted on the night of 30 June each year. Annual reports on the Census have been published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) since 1994, and previously by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC). Information in this section utilises the results provided in these publications.

Information on persons in juvenile detention centres for earlier periods were extracted from an AIC publication. More recent information has been provided by the Department of Families, Youth and Community Care (DFYCC) from the department’s administrative systems.

(All tables from this publication are displayed on this web site).

Appendix 4 Other related statistics – tables

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) classifies cause of death in Australia according to the International Classification of Disease (ICD), Revision 9, of the World Health Organization (WHO). A supplementary classification is used where the underlying cause of death was an external cause of injury or poisoning. The following tables on homicide victims have been obtained from these data, and therefore provide an alternative measure of homicide to that recorded by the police in the recorded crime series. It should be noted that the data relate to deaths registered in the relevant calendar year in Queensland and Australia, and not to the year of occurrence of the death.

The Department of Families, Youth & Community Care (DFYCC) provided the information on domestic violence protection orders.

(All tables from this publication are displayed on this web site).

Appendix 5 Offence classifications

1. Crime and safety surveys

The following offence descriptions are based on respondents’ perceptions of having been a victim of an offence. The terms may therefore not necessarily correspond to with the legal or police definition.

Title Description
Personal crime

Assault

An incident other than robbery where the respondent was threatened with force or attacked.

Sexual assault

An incident that was of a sexual nature involving physical contact, including rape, attempted rape, indecent assault and assault with the intent to sexually assault. Sexual harassment (that did not lead to an assault) was excluded. Only females aged 18 years and over were asked sexual assault questions.

Robbery

An incident where someone had stolen something from a respondent by threatening or attacking them.
Household crime

Break & enter

An incident other than robbery where the respondent was threatened with force or attacked.

Attempted break & enter

An incident where an attempt was made to break into the respondent’s home.

Motor vehicle theft

An incident where a registered motor vehicle was stolen from any member of the household. It included privately owned motor vehicles as well as business/company vehicles used exclusively by any members of the household.

2. Police statistics

This classification of offences conforms accords closely to with the Australian National Classification of Offences (ANCO) (ABS). Some differences exist between the classifications used in this publication and those used in the Queensland Police Service Statistical Review (affecting handling stolen goods and miscellaneous).

Title ANCO subdivision/group
Offences against the person
Homicide

Murder

111 Murder

Attempted murder

112 Attempted murder

Conspiracy to murder

113 Conspiracy to murder

Manslaughter

114 Manslaughter + 119 Homicide, unspecified

Driving causing death

115 Driving causing death
Assault

Major assault

121 Assault occasioning grievous bodily harm + 122 Assault occasioning actual bodily harm

Minor assault

129 Other assault

Rape & attempted rape

part of 136 Sexual assault according to State or Territory law

Other sexual offences

remainder of 136 Sexual assault according to State or Territory law + 137 Sexual offences (consent proscribed) + 139 Other sexual offences

Robbery & extortion

Robbery

21 Robbery

Extortion & blackmail

22 Blackmail & extortion

Kidnapping & abduction

191 Kidnapping and abduction

Other

remainder of 19 Other offences against the person
Offences against property
Breaking & entering, theft & fraud

Breaking & entering

31 Breaking & entering, burglary & unlawful entry

Fraud

32 Fraud & misappropriation

Handling stolen goods

33 Handling stolen goods

Theft of a motor vehicle

351 Theft or illegal use of a motor vehicle

Stealing

remainder of 35 Theft or illegal use of  a vehicle + 39 Other theft
Property damage

Arson

411 Arson

Other property damage

419 Other property damage
Other Offences
Drug offences

Possession of drugs

61 Possession &/or use of drugs

Supplying & trafficking drugs

64 Importing & exporting of drugs + 65 Dealing & trafficking in drugs

Producing drugs

66 Manufacturing & growing drugs

Other

69 Other drug offences
Driving, traffic & related offences

Dangerous driving

72 Dangerous, reckless or negligent driving

Drink driving

71 Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Disqualified driving

73 Driving licence offences

Interfere with mechanism of motor vehicle

various
Prostitution offences 594 Consorting + 595 Prostitution
Liquor offences 591 Liquor licensing
Gaming offences 592 Betting and gambling (part)
Racing and betting 592 Betting and gambling (part)
Vagrancy 593 Trespassing and vagrancy (part)
Good order offences 533 Resist/hinder police + 599 Other offences against good order
Miscellaneous

42 Environmental offences + 51 Offences against government security & operations + 52–54 Offences against justice procedures (except 533 Resist/hinder police) + 55 Unlawful possessions, use &/or handling of weapons + part of 593 Trespassing and vagrancy + 83–88 Other Federal & State legislation

Note: A number of other offences appear in a different group from Note: that appropriate under ANCO: driving causing grievous bodily harm (part of 121) and armed with intent (part of 599) in Other offences against the person; stealing as a clerk or agent (part of 322) in Other stealing; possession of housebreaking implements (part of 319) in Vagrancy; fare evasion (part of 399) in Good order offences; and possession of skin or carcass suspected stolen and possession of tainted property (both part of 332) in Miscellaneous offences.

3. Courts statistics

This classification of offences conforms to the Queensland Offence Classification (QOC) (ABS).

Title QOC group
Homicide 1 Homicide, etc.

Murder

111 Murder

Attempted murder

121 Attempted murder

Manslaughter

131 Manslaughter (excluding driving) + 141 Manslaughter (driving)

Other related offences

142 Dangerous driving causing death + 151 Conspiracy to murder
Assault 2 Assault (including sexual offences), etc.

Major assault

215 Assault occasioning grievous bodily harm (including permanent injury endangering life) or + 216 Assault occasioning actual bodily harm (including malicious wounding)

Minor assault

221 Common assault + 222 Aggravated assault + 223 Resisting arrest and other obstructions (under Criminal Code) + 224 Other resisting and obstructing (Police Act) + 229 Other minor assaults (including administering a drug to commit an offence)

Rape

231 Sexual assault—rape

Other sexual offences

239 Sexual assault—other (including indecent assault) + 241 Unlawful carnal knowledge + 242 Incest + 245 Indecently dealing with a child (under 16) + 249 Other sexual offences (consent prohibited) + 251 Wilful exposure (intent to insult) (Section 227(2) of the Criminal Code) + 259 Other sexual offences

Other violation of person

292 Ill-treatment of children + 293 Kidnapping and abduction + 294 Hijacking and other acts endangering life involving aircraft, marine vessels and other public transport + 295 Other (including abortion, threats of violence to persons, going armed to cause fear)

Robbery and extortion 3 Robbery and extortion

Robbery

311 Robbery with major assault (Section 412 of the Criminal Code) + 312 Robbery with minor assault (Section 413 of the Criminal Code) + 314 Robbery, other and unspecified (Sections 409 and 414 of the Criminal Code)

Extortion and blackmail

321 Extortion and blackmail
Fraud and misappropriation 4 Fraud and misappropriation

Embezzlement

411 Embezzlement by employee + 412 Embezzlement by trustee, partner, etc.

False pretences

424 False pretences

Fraud and forgery

421 Currency offences (forgery and uttering) + 422 Valueless cheques (forgery and uttering) + 423 Bankcard and credit card (forgery and uttering) 425 Forgery and uttering n.e.c. + 427 Evasion of fares + 428 leaving a hotel, etc. without paying (Section 6 of the Regulatory Offences Act) + 429 fraud n.e.c.

Theft, breaking and entering etc. 5 Theft, break and entering, etc.

Unlawful use of motor vehicle

511 Unlawful possession or use of a motor vehicle (including boats, caravans and trailers)

Other stealing

521 Pickpocketing and bag snatching + 532 Shoplifting + 533 Shoplifting (Section 5 of the Regulatory Offences Act) + 534 Stealing livestock (including branding, killing for gain) + 539 Other stealing (including theft of drugs)

Receiving & unlawful possession

540 Unlawful possession or use of livestock + 542 Other unlawful possession or use of other property + 551 Receiving stolen property

Burglary & housebreaking-

561 Burglary & housebreaking (breaking, entering and stealing) – dwelling + 562 Breaking & entering a dwelling with intent

Other breaking & entering

571 Breaking, entering and stealing—other building + 572 breaking & entering other building (non-dwelling) with intent + 573 possession of housebreaking implements

Property damage 6 Property damage

Arson

611 Arson

Other property damage

621 Wilful damage or destruction + 622 Wounding or killing animals + 623 Wilful damage (Section 7 of the Regulatory Offences Act) + 629 Other

Driving, traffic etc. 7 Driving, traffic and related offences

Drink driving etc.

711 Drink driving or drink driver (0.15 and over) in charge of a motor vehicle (including driving under the influence of drugs) + 712 Drink driving or drink driver (0.02 to < 0.15) in charge of a motor vehicle + 713 Failure to supply a breath test

Dangerous/ negligent driving

721 Dangerous driving + 722 Driving without due care and attention

Other

731 Driving under suspension, + 732 Driving under disqualification + 733 Unlicensed driving, + 739 Other licence offences + 791 Other traffic offences (excluding parking) + 792 Transport Act offences relating to driving and traffic + 793 Main Roads Act offences + 799 Other driving offences (including parking, local government, etc.)

Other offences 8 Other offences

Possession or use of drug

814 Possession or use of drug

Dealing, trafficking in drugs

816 Dealing and trafficking in drugs

Manufacturing, growing drugs

817 Manufacturing and growing drugs

Other drug offences

815 Importing and exporting of drugs + 818 Other drug offences (including obtaining by fraudulent prescription and possession of drug utensils)

Weapons offences

861 Unlawful possession of weapons (including going armed in public) + 862 Unlicensed firearms + 869 Other weapons offences

Enforcement of orders

851 Breach of maintenance orders + 911 Escape from custody + 912 Breach of probation or recognisance + 913 Breach of parole + 914 Breach of community service order + 915 Breach of Domestic Violence (Family Protection) Act + 916 Breach of suspended sentence + 917 Other offences against justice procedures (including accessory after the fact, conspiracy—unspecified, pervert the course of justice, perjury and Bail Act) + 918 Other offences against good order (including Mall Act)

Other

821 Drunkenness + 822 Abusive or obscene or insulting language + 823 Indecent or offence offensive behaviour + 824 Disorderly conduct +  826 Defamation and libel + 829 Other offensive behaviour offences (including censorship) + 831 Prostitution and related offences + 841 Trespassing + 842 Insufficient lawful means + 849 Other trespass/vagrancy related offences (including consorting) +, pollution871 Pollution, etc. affecting health, + other 872 Other environmental pollution (e.g. noise abatement) 873 Protection of animals, bird, flora and fauna + 874 Other natural resources protection (e.g. Stock Routes Act) + 879 Other environmental offences (e.g. littering) + 881 Liquor Act (breach of licence) + 889 Liquor Act (other) + 891 Gambling – premises + 892 Illegal bookmaking + 899 Other gambling offences + 921 Arbitration and conciliation + 922 Workers' compensation + 929 Other industrial offences + 931 Prohibited imports (not drugs, flora or fauna) + 939 Other customs, smuggling, etc. offences + 950 Electoral offences + 951 Parliamentary offences (including offences against government security) + 991 Education and welfare offences + 992 Other health offences (not drug or environment) + 994 Other local authority offences (not parking or environment) + 995 Other transport offences (not driving or traffic) + 999 Other (e.g. bigamy, invasion of privacy, copyright offences)

4. Corrections statistics

This classification of offences conforms to the Australian National Classification of Offences (ANCO) (ABS).

Title ANCO subdivision/group
Homicide 11 Homicide

Murder

111 Murder

Other homicide

remainder of 11 Homicide
Assault 12 Assault (excluding sexual assault)
Sexual offences 13 Sexual assaults and offences
Other offences against the person 19 Other offences against the person including acts endangering life generally
Robbery & extortion 2 Robbery and extortion

Robbery

21 Robbery

Blackmail & extortion

22 Blackmail and extortion
Breaking & entering, theft & fraud 3 Breaking and entering, burglary, and unlawful entry; Fraud, forgery and false pretences; and other offences involving theft

Breaking & entering

31 Breaking and entering, burglary and unlawful entry

Fraud & misappropriation

32 Fraud and misappropriation

Handling stolen goods

33 Handling stolen goods

Other theft (including motor vehicle theft)

35 Theft or illegal use of a vehicle + 39 Other theft
Property damage & environmental damage 4 Property damage and environmental offences
Offences against good order 5 Offences against good order

Offences against Government/justice procedures

51 Offences against Government security and operations + 52-54 Offences against justice procedures

Weapons offences

55 Unlawful possession, use and/or handling of weapons

Other

57-59 Other offences against good order
Drug offences 6 Drug offences (excluding theft of drugs)

Possession &/ use of drugs

61 Possession and/or use of drugs

Dealing & trafficking drugs

64 Importing and exporting drugs + 65 Dealing and trafficking in drugs

Manufacturing & growing drugs

66 Manufacturing and growing drugs + 69 Other drug offences
Driving, traffic & related offences 7 Driving, motor vehicle, traffic and related offences

Driving offences

71 Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs + 72 Dangerous, reckless, or negligent driving

Driving licence offences

73 Driving licence offences

Other

74-79 Other motor vehicle, traffic and related offences
Other offences 8 Other offences
Offences in custody 9 Offences-in-custody (against prison rules)

Appendix 6  Other classifications

1 Order of seriousness of offence types

This classification is applied in courts statistics to select the most serious offence of a defendant who appears for two or more charges from different offence types.

Offence Type Seriousness
Murder

1

Attempted murder

2

Manslaughter (excluding driving)

3

Dealing and trafficking in drugs

4

Manufacturing and growing drugs

5

Importing and exporting of drugs

6

Possession or use of drugs

7

Sexual Assault—rape

8

Assault occasioning grievous bodily harm (including permanent injury, endangering life)

9

Unlawful carnal knowledge

10

Incest

11

Robbery with major assault (Section 412 of the Criminal Code)

12

Robbery, armed (Section 410 of the Criminal Code)

13

Extortion and blackmail

14

Robbery with minor assault (Section 413 of the Criminal Code)

15

Robbery, other and unspecified (Sections 409 and 414 of the Criminal Code)

16

Arson

17

Manslaughter (driving)

18

Conspiracy to murder

19

Dangerous driving causing death

20

Other sexual offences (consent prohibited) (e.g. sodomy)

21

Sexual assault—other (including indecent assault)

22

Indecently dealing with a child under 16

23

Assault occasioning actual bodily harm (including malicious wounding)

24

Other minor assaults (including administering a drug to commit an offence)

25

Other offences against justice procedures (including accessory after the fact, conspiracy—unspecified, pervert the course of justice, perjury and Bail Act)

26

Burglary and housebreaking (breaking, entering and stealing)—dwelling

27

Breaking, entering and stealing—other building (non-dwelling)

28

Breaking and entering a dwelling with intent

29

Breaking and entering other building (non-dwelling) with intent

30

Hijacking of and other acts endangering life involving aircraft, marine vessels and other public transport

31

Kidnapping and abduction

32

Other (including abortion, threats of violence to persons, going armed to cause fear)

33

Other stealing (including theft of drugs, steal from person)

34

False pretences

35

Embezzlement by employee

36

Embezzlement by trustee, partner, etc.

37

Currency offences (forgery and uttering)

38

Valueless cheques (forgery and uttering)

39

Bankcard and credit card (forgery and uttering)

40

Forgery and uttering, n.e.c.

41

Fraud, n.e.c.

42

Unlawful possession or use of a motor vehicle (including boats, caravans and trailers)

43

Other drug offences (including obtaining by fraudulent prescription and possession of drug utensils)

44

Resisting arrest and other obstructions (under Criminal Code)

45

Other resisting and obstructing (Police Act)

46

Receiving stolen property

47

Other unlawful possession or use of other property

48

Unlawful possession or use of livestock

49

Shoplifting

50

Stealing livestock (including branding, killing for gain)

51

Escape from custody

52

Breach of parole

53

Breach of probation or recognisance

54

Breach of leave of absence

55

Breach of home detention

56

Breach of Domestic Violence (Family Protection) Act

57

Wilful damage or destruction

58

Wounding or killing animals

59

Unlawful possession of weapons (including going armed in public)

60

Unlicensed firearms

61

Other weapon offences

62

Wilful exposure (intent to insult) (section 227(2) of the Criminal Code)

63

Other sexual offences

64

Dangerous driving

65

Driving under disqualification

66

Drink driving or drink driver (0.15 and over) in charge of a motor vehicle (including driving under the influence of drugs)

67

Drink driving or drink driver (0.02 to < 0.15) in charge of a motor vehicle

68

Failure to supply a breath test

69

Aggravated assault (section 344 of Criminal Code)

70

Common assault

71

Driving under suspension

72

Unlicensed driving

73

Ill-treatment of children

74

Insufficient lawful means

75

Other trespass/vagrancy related offences (including consorting)

76

Breach of maintenance orders

77

Breach of Community Service Order

78

Illegal bookmaking

79

Gambling—premises

80

Other gambling offences

81

Prostitution and related offences

82

Other (e.g. bigamy, invasion of privacy, copyright offences)

83

Disorderly conduct

84

Driving without due care and attention

85

Other traffic offences (excluding parking)

86

Defamation and libel

87

Possession of housebreaking implements

88

Evasion of fares

89

Trespassing

90

Other licence offences

91

Indecent or offensive behaviour

92

Abusive or obscene or insulting language

93

Drunkenness

94

Wilful damage (Section 7 of the Regulatory Offences Act)

95

Other customs, smuggling etc. offences (including taxation)

96

Main Roads Act offences

97

Transport Act offences relating to driving and traffic

98

Other driving offences (including parking, local government etc.)

99

Shoplifting (Section 5 of the Regulatory Offences Act)

100

Other industrial offences

101

Arbitration and conciliation

102

Workers’ compensation

103

Other transport offences (not driving or traffic) (e.g. Marine Act, Navigation Act)

104

Other health offences (not drugs or environment)

105

Other offensive behaviour offences (including censorship)

106

Protection of animals, birds, flora and fauna

107

Pollution, etc. affecting health

108

Other natural resources protection (e.g. Stock Routes Act)

109

Prohibited imports (not drugs, flora or fauna)

110

Liquor Act (other)

111

Liquor Act (breach of licence)

112

Other local authority offences (not parking or environment)

113

Pickpocketing and bag snatching

114

Leaving a hotel, etc. without paying (Section 6 of the Regulatory Offences Act)

115

Education and welfare offences

116

Parliamentary offences (including offences against government security)

117

Property damage - Other

118

Electoral offences

119

Other offences against good order (including Mall Act)

120

Other environmental pollution (e.g. noise abatement)

121

Other environmental offences (e.g. littering)

122

Breach of suspended sentence

123

2 Order of seriousness of penalty types

The following is classification is applied in courts statistics to select the most serious penalty for a defendant who receives two or more penalties.

Penalty Type Seriousness
Single and concurrent prison sentence

1

Cumulative prison sentence

1

Suspended sentence

2

Community service order

3

Probation order

4

Fine and default imprisonment

5

Fine

5

Fine with default execution

5

Restitution, pay fees, etc.

6

Compensation

7

Good behaviour bond, recognisance

8

Disqualification of driver’s licence

9

Convicted not punished

24

Other orders

99

References

ABS. See Australian Bureau of Statistics.

AIC. See Australian Institute of Criminology.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 1989, Law and Order, Queensland, 1987–88, Cat. no. 4502.3, Brisbane.

---- 1986–91 and 1991–96, Experimental Estimates of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Population, Cat. no. 3230.0, Canberra.

---- 1990, Law and Order, Queensland, 1988–89, Cat. no. 4502.3, Brisbane.

---- 1991, Law and Order, Queensland, 1989–90, Cat. no. 4502.3, Brisbane.

---- 1992, Law and Order, Queensland, 1990–91, Cat. no. 4502.3, Brisbane.

---- 1993, Law and Order, Queensland, 1991–92 (final issue), Cat. no. 4502.3, Brisbane.

---- 1994, Crime and Safety, Australia, April 1993, Cat. no. 4509.0, Canberra.

---- 1995, Crime and Safety, Queensland, April 1995, Cat. no. 4509.3, Brisbane.

---- 1996, Prisoners in Australia, 1994: Results of the 1994 National Prison Census, a report prepared for the Corrective Services Ministers’ Council by the National Correctional Services Statistics Unit, ABS, Melbourne.

---- 1997a, Estimated Resident Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories, June 1992 to June 1997, Cat. no. 3201.0, Canberra.

---- 1997b, Prisoners in Australia, 1995: Results of the 1995 National Prison Census, a report prepared for the Corrective Services Ministers’ Council by the National Correctional Services Statistics Unit, ABS, Melbourne.

---- 1997c, Prisoners in Australia, 1996: Results of the 1996 National Prison Census, a report prepared for the Corrective Services Ministers’ Council by the National Corrective Services Statistics Unit, ABS, Melbourne.

---- 1998, Prisoners in Australia, 1997: Results of the 1997 National Prison Census, a report prepared for the Corrective Services Ministers’ Council by the National Correctional Services Statistics Unit, ABS, Melbourne.

(various dates), Australian Demographic Statistics (various dates), Cat. no. 3101.0, Canberra.

Australian Institute of Criminology 1989, Persons in Juvenile Corrective Institutions, no. 43, June 1988, Canberra.

---- 1990a, Australian Prisoners, 1989: Results of the National Prison Census, 30 June 1989, by J. Walker & D. Dagger, Canberra.

---- 1990b, Persons in Juvenile Corrective Institutions, no. 47, June 1989, Canberra.

---- 1991a, Australian Prisoners, 1990: Results of the National Prison Census, 30 June 1990, by J. Walker & J. Hallinan, Canberra.

---- 1991b, Persons in Juvenile Corrective Institutions, no. 51, June 1990, Canberra.

---- 1992a, Australian Prisoners, 1991: Results of the National Prison Census, 30 June 1991, by J. Walker, J. Hallinan & D. Dagger, Canberra.

---- 1992b, Persons in Juvenile Corrective Institutions, no. 55, June 1991, Canberra.

---- 1993a, Australian Prisoners, 1992: Results of the National Prison Census, 30 June 1992, by J. Walker & S. Salloom, Canberra.

---- 1993b, Persons in Juvenile Corrective Institutions, no. 59, June 1992, Canberra.

---- 1994, Persons in Juvenile Corrective Institutions, no. 63, June 1993, Canberra.

---- 1995, Australian Prisoners, 1993: Results of the National Prison Census, 30 June 1993, by S. Mukherjee & D. Dagger, Canberra.

CJC. See Criminal Justice Commission.

Criminal Justice Commission 1998, Criminal Justice System Monitor, vol. 3, Apr. 1998, Brisbane.

GSO. See Government Statistician’s Office.

Government Statistician’s Office 1996, Crime and Safety Trends in Queensland: Survey Findings from 1975 to 1995, GSO, Brisbane.

QPS. See Queensland Police Service.

Queensland Police Service (various years), Annual Report, 1987–88 to 1989–90, Brisbane.

(various years), Queensland Police Service Statistical Review, 1990–91 to 1996–97, Brisbane.

Glossary

acquittal a setting free from a charge resulting from a finding of not guilty
adult a person aged 17 years or over; a person charged with an offence committed when they were 17 or over will generally be dealt with in court as an adult
aggregate sentence the longest period an offender may be held in prison or youth detention, taking into account all the penalties currently imposed; the actual time served may be less due to parole and other means of early release
aggrieved spouse a spouse for whose benefit a domestic violence protection order is in force or may be made
appeal an application to a higher court to review the decision of a lower court
arrest taking into custody
Australian National Classification of Offences (ANCO) the standard Australian offence classification, recently superseded by the Australian Standard Offence Classification
authorised person a person authorised by an aggrieved spouse to make an application on their behalf
bench warrant a warrant issued by a court when a party to a case has not appeared, requiring that party to appear
caution an official admonishment and warning given at police discretion to juveniles, those over the age of 65 and the intellectually disabled as an alternative to being charged
committal referral from a magistrates court to a higher court for trial or sentence
community correction penalty a penalty which provides that an offender be free but under supervision
community service a penalty which requires that an offender spend a specified number of hours performing unpaid community work
company an entity, other than a person, that is able to be dealt with by court processes
compensation a penalty which requires that an offender make a payment by way of reparation for loss or injury to person or property
conviction rate the proportion of defendants who are found guilt of an offence (usually given as a percentage)
crime violation of law
crime and safety surveys household surveys conducted at irregular intervals by the ABS and GSO into experience of crime
criminal court a court of law in which defendants are prosecuted for offences
custodial correction punishment and rehabilitation of an offender in prison or youth detention
custodial institution prison and or youth detention centre
custodial penalty a penalty where an offender is held in a prison or youth detention centre
discharge the release of a defendant from further court proceedings due to the dismissal or withdrawal of all charges
dismissal striking out of a charge by the court (without a determination of guilt)
disposal the ultimate finalisation and clearing of a charge or defendant from the courts system; committals and other transfers are finalisations at one level of court, but do not count as disposals because the charge or defendant is still active within the courts system
district court an intermediate court in the Queensland judicial system
estimated population the estimated number of usual residents in a geographical area (Queensland in this publication)
finalisation the clearing of a charge or defendant from one level of court, either by disposal or by transfer to another level of court
fine a penalty which requires that an offender pay a sum of money to the Crown
guilty finding a determination by the court that the defendant is legally responsible for an offence
household a group of persons living together in one dwelling who regard themselves as a household
household crime crime for which the victim is considered to be the household (e.g. break & enter and motor vehicle theft)
immediate (applied to imprisonment or youth detention) expected to be served in prison or youth detention rather than fully suspended or replaced by an immediate release order.
immediate release suspension of a detention order against a juvenile offender, conditional on participation in a Department of Families Youth and Community Care program
imprisonment a custodial penalty where an adult offender is held in prison, including any suspended or to be served by intensive correction
imprisonment rate the proportion of the total population who are in prison (usually given per 100,000 resident population)
incident an event which may involve a breach of law
indefinite sentence a sentence of imprisonment which is to continue until a court orders that the term is discharged
Indigenous those persons who identify as either Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
juvenile a person who has not turned 17 years; a person charged with an offence committed before they turned 17 will generally be dealt with in court as a juvenile
Magistrates court a court of summary jurisdiction in the Queensland judicial system
monetary penalty a penalty of a fine or compensation
offence an act or omission which renders the person doing the act or making the omission liable to punishment
offence description a category within a loose classification of offences used in the Crime and Safety Surveys
offence type a category within a classification describing the nature of the offence; this publication uses several classifications (see Appendix 5)
offender (1) (in court) a person who has been convicted of an offence
offender (2) (in recorded crime) a person who has been arrested, summonsed or cautioned for an offence
outcome (in court) method of finalisation and penalty
penalty a term of imprisonment or detention, fine or other payment, community service or supervision, surrender of licence or other imposition ordered by the court as part of the punishment of an offender
personal crimes crime for which the victim is a person (e.g. robbery, assault and sexual assault)
prison a premises or place to hold adults sentenced to imprisonment (and defined as such under the Corrective Services Act 1988)
prisoner any person under the legal custody of the Queensland Corrective Services Commission including both sentenced and unsentenced persons
probation a penalty which requires that an offender be free but bound by conditions and restrictions
protection order an order made against a respondent spouse to protect an aggrieved spouse or relative or associate of an aggrieved spouse
Queensland Offence Classification (QOC) an offence classification used in Queensland criminal court statistics
recognisance a penalty which requires that an offender be of good behaviour for a specified period
relative standard error a measure of the variability of estimates that occurs as a result of surveying only a sample of the population
remand recommittal to custody
restitution a penalty which requires that an offender make restitution for property taken, damaged or destroyed during the offence
SETONS court a court for the computerised processing of offences which are subject to prosecution by infringement notices
sine die to an unspecified date
summons a means of laying charges and initiating prosecution without arrest
Supreme court the highest court in the Queensland judicial system
suspended sentence a custodial penalty which provides that all or part of the sentence not be served
victim a person, organisation, premises or motor vehicle directly, centrally and adversely affected by a crime
victimisation rate the proportion of the population who are victims of crime
withdrawal an ending of a charge by a decision of the prosecution not to proceed
youth detention a custodial penalty where a juvenile offender to is held in a youth detention centre, including any suspended or subject to an immediate release order

Further reading

Criminal Justice Commission, Criminal Justice System Monitor Series, vol.s 1 & 2–3, CJC, Brisbane.

Government Statistician’s Office, 1992, Crime Victims Survey, Queensland, 1991, GSO, Brisbane.

---- 1996, Statistical Standards for Queensland Government: Crime Statistics, Version 1.0, GSO, Brisbane.

---- 1998, Queensland Crime Statistics Bulletin No. 1: Violence in the Family, GSO, Brisbane.

---- 1998, Queensland Crime Statistics Bulletin No. 2: Firearms, GSO, Brisbane.

---- 1999, Queensland Crime Statistics Bulletin No. 3: Imprisonment in Sentencing, GSO, Brisbane.

---- 1999, Queensland Crime Statistics Bulletin No.4: Cutting and Piercing Injuries, GSO, Brisbane.

---- 1999, Queensland Crime Statistics Bulletin No. 5: Prisoners in Queensland, GSO, Brisbane.


Last reviewed 19 December 2006