The risk of victimisation is not homogenous. There are marked variations by age
group, gender, marital status, residential stability, socio-economic and
employment status and time of day/night. These risk factors are inter-related.
Briefly, being young, male, single, unemployed or under-employed, with high
residential mobility and regularly participating in recreational activities in
the evenings or at night (particularly involving alcohol etc consumption)
results in increased risk of victimization – and in offending. That is, perpetrators and victims share
are gender variations. Over a
12-month period, males were more likely to be victims of physical assault
(6.5% of males vs. 3.1% of females surveyed), and females (1.3% of females
vs. 0.6% of males) were more likely to be victimized via sexual assault
remote Indigenous communities the risks are far higher (see Al-Yaman et
both 2003 and 2004, 4.5% of people in NSW were victims of a personal crime
involving robbery, assault or sexual assault, with the risks being highest
for young males (BOCSAR, 2007). Many experience multiple victimizations. Of
note, elderly people are the least likely to be victimized (ibid).
perpetrators of crime are also not representative of the population as a
are markedly disproportionately young, male, alcohol or substance
intoxicated, unemployed or under-employed, residentially mobile and many
have poor impulse control. For example, in 2002 in the NSW Courts
(including the Children’s, Local, District and Supreme Courts) over
114,000 people were found guilty; of these over 80% were male with those
aged 18-19 having the highest rate of offending, followed by 20-24 year
old males (BOCSAR, 2002).
is, victims and perpetrators share similar characteristics.
non-reporting of crimes to police
that result in substantial property losses are most likely to be reported
to police, (for example, vehicle theft) as are break and enter into homes. Some of this reporting is also
likely to be due to insurance claim requirements for formal
contrast, threats of assault and assaults are the least likely to be
formally reported with only around 37% recorded (Johnson, 2005, p.5).
non-reporting of crimes inevitably makes calculation of incidence and
prevalence ratios more difficult.