Robbery and burglary rates halve in Australia this century

Various factors are linked to drop in rates for robbery, burglary, motor vehicle theft and ‘other theft’

Various factors are linked to the drop in rates for robbery, burglary, motor vehicle theft and ‘other theft’

A new report claims the rates of robbery and burglary in Australia have dropped by a half since the turn of the century.

Figures released by the New South Wales (NSW) Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show that, between 2001 and 2009, the national rate for robbery throughout Australia fell by 49.1 per cent.

The report added that, despite recent changes in offence counting rules making the comparing of crime rates after 2009 “difficult”, the rates of theft and robbery continued to decline in the years between 2009 and 2012.

The largest drop in robbery rates was seen in NSW, at 58.9 per cent, while Tasmania had experienced the smallest drop, at 29.7 per cent.

During the period, all Australian jurisdictions saw falls in rates of burglary, motor vehicle theft and ‘other theft’ – which includes theft from a person, theft of vehicle parts or contents and retail theft among others.

The national drop in rates for burglary, motor vehicle and ‘other theft’ stood at 57.3 per cent, 62.2 per cent and 39.3 per cent respectively.

NSW led the way with a 63.4 per cent drop in burglary, while Victoria saw the largest drop in motor vehicle theft, at 70.1 per cent, and South Australia had the biggest fall in ‘other theft’ at 50.5 per cent.

Dr Don Weatherburn, director of the Bureau, cited an increase in average earnings, tougher law and order policies and a decrease in heroin use throughout Australia as factors involved in the large decrease in theft and robbery.

“These are unlikely to be the only factors in play,” he said. “Changes in vehicle and household security and changes in police tactics may also have played a role.”

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