ACT News


ACT records highest physical assault victimisation rate

The ACT has recorded the highest rate of physical assault victims in the country, but the lowest rate of victims to break-ins.

The Bureau of Statistics released crime victimisation data on Tuesday  showing  the number of victims to assaults, personal robbery, sexual assaults, household break-ins, motor vehicle thefts, property damage and other offences for 2011-12.

The statistics showed the ACT recorded the highest victimisation rate – the number of people who told a survey they were victims compared with the total number of those surveyed – for physical assault in the country at 4.7per cent.

That is just above the Northern Territory at 4.6per cent, and well above the national average of 3per cent.

That rate has also jumped for the ACT from 3.2per cent in 2010-11, up 1.5 percentage points to 4.7per cent in 2011-12.

The number of physical assault victims across Australia has not changed dramatically in 2011-12 from earlier years.


But the ABS did note a dramatic increase in the actual number of physical assault incidents in 2011-12.

The total number of assaults rose by 44per cent, from 1.5million in 2010-11 to 2.2million in 2011-12.

Victims reported alcohol to be a factor in nearly 60per cent of their physical assaults.

The ABS data also shows more than half of victims in the ACT do not report their crime to police.

Just under 60per cent of victims said they had not reported their most recent incident to police, compared to the 40per cent who did.

Just more than 33per cent of those who did not tell police said it was because the matter was too trivial or unimportant.

Nationally, just under half of all physical assaults were reported to police, according to ABS National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics director, Fiona Dowsley.

“Physical assaults include acts such as being pushed, grabbed, shoved, choked, shot, burnt, being hit with something such as a bat or being deliberately hit by a vehicle and could occur in public or in the home,” Ms Dowsley said.

The ACT did record the lowest victimisation rates for break-ins in the country.

The break-in victimisation rate for the territory was just 1.7per cent, well below the national average of 2.9per cent.

The rate of threatened assault victims was also below the national average, for both face-to-face threats of assault and non face-to-face.

The ACT recorded victimisation rates above the national average for malicious property damage, theft of property from a motor vehicle, and for other types of theft.

The ABS data is described as an estimate only, and only refers to victims over the age of 15.

The bureau says its data should be used as an additional source to statistics held by police, and the information is likely to differ due to the ABS methodology and the inclusion of unreported crime.

Fairfax Media sought comment from Police Minister, Simon Corbell.