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Young people most likely to be victims of robbery

In June 2007, the Australian Institute of Criminology released a fact sheet comparing levels of robbery victimisation suffered by different age groups. The fact sheet indicates that young people aged 15 to 24 years, both males and females, face the highest risk of being a victim of robbery. Among males, those aged 15–19 years faced the highest risk of being a robbery victim, at 408 victims per 100,000 relevant population. Among females, those aged 20–24 faced the highest risk, at 106 per 100,000 relevant population. In every age group, males were more likely to be victims of robbery. These statistics refer to personal victims of robbery, with robbery including ‘armed and unarmed robbery and … the use, or threatened use, of force or violence’.

Australian robbery victims, 2006, by age groupa

a: per 100,000 population

Source: Australian Institute of Criminology 2007, Robbery victimisation, Crime facts info n.150, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra, viewed 10 August 2007, http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/cfi/cfi150.html.

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Victims, Australia 2005

Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that:

  • Persons aged 25 years or older comprised approximately 70% of recorded victims of blackmail/extortion, murder and attempted murder. In contrast, this age group comprised approximately one in four victims of kidnapping/abduction.
  • Those aged 25–34 years were twice as likely to be victims of attempted murder than the general population.
  • Over half of the victims of kidnapping/abduction (54%) were under 20 years of age. This offence had the highest proportion of victims aged 0–14 years (36%).
  • Persons aged 10–14 years were nearly three times more likely to be victims of kidnapping/abduction than the general population.
  • Persons aged 15–19 years were just over three times more likely to be victims of robbery than the general population.

Victims (a): Selected offence categories by age group



Further variation existed across certain offence categories when classified by age and sex:

  • Males aged 25–34 were three times more likely to be a victim of attempted murder than females of the same age group.
  • For kidnapping/abduction those aged 10–14 had the highest victimisation rate for males (8 per 100,000 population), while females in the age group of 15–19 years had the highest victimisation rate for this offence (15 per 100,000 population).
  • The victimisation rate for robbery was the highest in the 20–24 year age group for females (101 per 100,000 population). For males the 15–19 year age group was the highest for this offence type (338 per 100,000 population).

Source: 4510.0 - Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2005, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics [viewed 29/11/2006].

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*Kidnapping/abduction

Between 1995 and 2004:

  • The rate of kidnapping/abduction increased from 2.5 to 3.8 victims per 100,000 population.
  • Throughout this period, the rate of kidnapping of persons aged 19 or less has been more than twice as high as of persons aged 20 and over.
  • Victims of abduction are more likely to be female than male.

In 2004:
Of the 768 people who were kidnapped/abducted, 69% were female, while the rate for females aged 10–19 years was 17.5 per 100,000.

In 2003:
Where victim/offender relationship was reported, abduction by offenders previously not known to the victim was most common (62%), followed by abduction by a non-family member known to the victim (18%), and by a family member (12%).

*Kidnapping/abduction is defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as the unlawful seizing or taking away of another person either against that person’s will, or against the will of any parent or legal guardian of that person.

Kidnapping/abduction, rates per 100,000, 1995–2004

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2005. Recorded crime – victims,
Australia 2004, cat. no. 4510.0, Canberra: ABS.



Source: Australian Institute of Criminology, Crime facts info no. 103, Kidnapping and abduction [viewed 29/11/2006].

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Young people as victims of crime, 2003

Persons aged 24 years or less comprised the majority of recorded victims of:

  • sexual assault (72%)
  • kidnapping/abduction (71%)
  • robbery (49%)
In contrast, this age group comprised less than one in three victims of:
  • atttempted murder (31%)
  • murder (27%)
  • driving causing death (25%)
  • blackmail/extortion (25%)

Persons in the 15–19 year and 20–24 year age groups had the highest assault rates (1,600 per 100,000 population).
This was more than twice the total assault victimisation rate, and has been the same since 1995.

Sexual assault victimisation rates:

Males aged 14 years and under had the highest victimisation rate (89 per 100,000 population) of any male age group – over three times the rate for the general male population.
Females in the 10–19 year age group had the highest sexual assault victimisation rate (497 per 100,000 population) – over three times the rate for the general female population.

Robbery victimisation rates:

Persons aged 15–19 years were three and a half times more likely to be victims of robbery than the general population.
The victimisation rate for robbery was the highest in the 20–24 year age group for females (117 per 100,000 population) but highest in the 15–19 year age group for males (468 per 100,000 population).

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003, Recorded Crime page. ABS Canberra Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia [viewed 29/11/2006].

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Juvenile victims of crime 1995

Percentage of homicide victims in Australia in 1995 who were under the age of 20: >12%
...under the age of 10: about 5%

Percentage of sexual assault victims in Australia in 1995 under the age of 20: about 61%
...under the age of 10: >20%

Percentage of abduction victims in Australia in 1995 under the age of 20: about 62%
...under the age of 10: about 24%

Source: Mukherjee, S., Carcach, C. & Higgins, K. 1997, Juvenile crime and justice: Australia 1997, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra, ACT.


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