Most Common Crimes in Australia
Even though Australia is a safe and relatively wealthy country like anywhere in the world it’s no stranger to criminal activity. Crime can take place anywhere at any time – and can involve willful ignorance of the law – or you yourself could be breaking the law and not even know it. While a majority of crimes that are detected show clear trends, there are thousands of crimes that go undetected every day – from high-level fraud and murder with intent to more trivial offences like traffic offences.
How accurate are statistics in reporting true crime numbers?
The truth is – not as accurate as you’d think. That’s because not all crimes are necessarily reported, and there’s always a level of human error in crime reporting which can influence crime rates. Factors like the willingness of a victim or witness to actually report accurately or even report at all also affect the authenticity of statistics.
What are hidden crimes?
Hidden crimes are exactly what they sound like. They’re crimes that go unreported, due to either no one actually witnessing them or for some reason weren’t reported at all. Some crimes like theft often get reported more than drug or sexual assault cases, the impact the crime has on victims plays a role in the likelihood of that crime making its way into the books. For example, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 90% of households whose car was stolen reported the crime to the police, whereas only 39% of sexual assault victims reported their experience to the police.
What crimes often go undetected?
Every year an immeasurable number of crimes go undetected by authorities, making accurate reporting virtually impossible. Demographics also play a role in influencing what crimes go reported and which ones don’t. For example, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a higher mistrust of the legal system and tend not to engage with authorities. Common crimes that go undetected are:
- Physical assaults often have a low reporting rate
- Domestic violence is a highly prevalent and highly underreported crime
- Minor drug offences are extremely common and often go unreported or undetected.
What are the most detected crimes in Australia?
Crimes can be easily categorized into groups, depending on the associated charge – between 2018 and 2019 there were a total of 394,466 offenders proceeded against by police around Australia. Since 2013, there have been three groups of criminal offences that have dominated:
- Acts intended to cause injury -78,530 offenders (20%)
- Illicit drug offences – 77,074 offenders (20%)
- Public order offences – 53,560 offenders (14%)
A detailed breakdown of the most common crimes as of July 2020:
- Other theft – 569,404 victims experienced cases of other theft – an increase of 8% form the year before.
- Unlawful entry with intent – In 2019 there were 173,344 victims of unlawful entry with intent, a 2%.
- Motor vehicle theft – In 2019 there were 58,021 victims of motor vehicle theft in Australia, increasing 9%.
- Sexual assault – there were 26,892 victims of sexual assault in Australia during 2019, increasing 2%.
- Robbery – in 2019, there were 11,775 victims of robbery, an increase of 16% from the previous year.
- Homicide and related offences – between 2018-2019 there were 416 victims, a 10% increase.
What influences the punishments of these crimes?
Punishments for these crimes depend on several different factors. Here’s what typically affects the outcome in court:
- Nature of the crime – this includes the actions taken by the offender and what they amounted to.
- The severity of the crime – how severe the outcomes were.
- Aggravating circumstances – was there malicious intent, for example, was the robbery carried out at knife-point or in front of children.
- Prior offences play a role in determining the kinds of fines or prison times handed down by courts.
What kinds of punishments are handed down for these crimes?
Punishments for these crimes can range from medium and heavy fines to multiple years or life in prison. Children under the age of 10 cannot be charged with a criminal offence and even up to the age of 18 there are concessions depending on the circumstances. Across many Australian states there are mandatory sentencing laws that can result in a minimum sentence no matter how much legal support you have in court. For example, a violent offence such as assault carries a mandatory prison sentence. Having access to a criminal lawyer is extremely helpful in ensuring a just outcome in court.
What can I do if I’m accused of a crime?
If you’re facing any kind of legal issue, whether it’s a court order or the police wanting to ask you a few questions – it’s important to get qualified legal assistance before you say anything to authorities. Reach out to a firm that has a good record, criminal lawyers Perth are waiting to assist people in need. If you’re facing charges, don’t leave it to chance.