From 1 January 2015, the Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) became responsible for processing, analysing and publishing Victorian crime statistics, independent of Victoria Police.
The CSA aims to provide an efficient and transparent information service to assist and inform policy makers, researchers and the Victorian public.
The legal basis for the Crime Statistics Agency is the Crime Statistics Act 2014, which provides for the publication and release of crime statistics, research into crime trends, and the employment of a Chief Statistician for that purpose.
Under the provisions of the Act, the Chief Statistician is empowered to receive law enforcement data from the Chief Commissioner of Police and is responsible for publishing and releasing statistical information relating to crime in Victoria.
Victoria Police crime statistics publication
The 2013-14 publication contains detailed statistics on crime reported to or detected by Victoria Police for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2014 together with comparisons with the 2012-13 fiscal year.
The source of the data is Victoria Police Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP).
On 1 March 1993, Victoria Police implemented the Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) statewide. The LEAP database is fully relational and stores particulars of all crimes bought to the notice of police as well as family incidents and missing persons. It also includes details on locations, vehicles and persons involved. The database is online and updated constantly, 24 hours a day.
A copy of the LEAP database is downloaded each night for use by various areas of the Victoria Police to produce crime statistics and conduct data analysis.
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 in the statistics.
Victoria Police uses three methods of counting crime depending on the particular offence. For all crime against the person, and most crime against property, the counting unit is the number of principal victims for each separate occurrence of the offence. For example, if three offenders assault two persons, then two offences of assault are recorded.
For offences against statute such as possess and use drugs, the number of alleged offenders is the counting unit. For example, if three offenders were found in possession of cannabis, then three offences of possessing cannabis would be counted. For a small number of infrequent offences, such as piracy, the event itself becomes the counting unit; that is, one offence is counted for each incident of piracy.
Only the most serious offence which best describes a distinct course of criminal conduct is recorded in official crime statistics, even though an offender may be charged with other offences resulting from the one incident. For example, an offender carrying a firearm commits an armed robbery – only the offence of armed robbery is recorded although the offender would be charged with armed robbery and possession of a firearm.
The number of distinct courses of criminal conduct occurring within an incident will generally be one unless there is a break in time and/or location. For example, if an offender presents three valueless cheques to a teller only one offence would be recorded but if the three cheques were presented at different times or at different branches then three offences would be recorded.
Broad offence categories
There are in excess of 5000 individual statutory and common law offences recorded on LEAP which have been grouped into 27 broad offence categories. These categories are further subdivided into four general classes of Crime Against the Person, Crime Against Property, Drug Offences and Other Crime. Offences dealt with by way of penalty notice and/or traffic offences are not recorded on LEAP and are not included in the official crime statistics.
Offences are classified as substantive offences, attempts, conspiracies, accessories and/or aid or incitement and abet. Unless otherwise stated, the statistics presented in this publication include all degrees of the offence.
A cleared offence refers to all offences recorded on LEAP that has been resolved. This could be because an alleged offender was processed, an investigation reveals no offence occurred, the complaint was withdrawn, or the perpetrator was known but for legal and other reasons could not be charged (eg under age or deceased).
Total clearances refers to the number of offences cleared during the financial year. They are also represented as a ratio to the total number of offences recorded in the same period. Total clearance rates can therefore be over 100% for some crime categories, as clearances can include offences from previous years.
The offence category of Homicide is not restricted to the offence of murder but includes offences such as manslaughter and culpable driving which also result in the death of a person. The offence category of homicide also includes attempts and other degrees of the offence.
Victims of crime are classified as either persons, businesses, statute or other depending on the nature of the offence. Victim profiles presented in this publication are based on those victims recorded as persons only. Victims who are victimised on more than one occasion are counted for each occasion.
Alleged Offenders refer to persons who have allegedly committed a criminal offence and have been processed for that offence by either arrest, summons, caution or warrant of apprehension during the corresponding financial year regardless of when the offence occurred.
Those persons who for legal or other reasons were apprehended but were not charged are also included. Persons are counted on each occasion they are processed and for each offence counted in recorded offences (e.g. a person processed on three occasions will be counted three times). Only the offence in recorded offences for which the offender has been processed is included.
This refers to the total number of charges laid against an offender. These include secondary offences that are not included in the recorded figures for offences. For example, if two offenders each carrying a firearm, assault a customer during the course of an armed robbery, this would result in charges of possess firearm, armed robbery, robbery, theft, and assault being laid against each offender.
The number of offences counted in the recorded figures for offences however, would be one offence of armed robbery. The number of charges therefore, will be considerably higher than the number of reported offences and the number of offenders. Note that for a variety of reasons, offenders may not be subsequently presented before a court on all charges laid at the time of their apprehension.
Publication – Overview of Victorian crime statistics
Corporate Statistics produces an annual publication titled Victoria Police Crime Statistics. This publication is available in many libraries or by contacting Corporate Statistics.
Reviewed 29 August 2019