Embargo: 9:00AM Thursday 2 February 2017
Attrition of sexual offence incidents across the Victorian criminal justice system
The Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) has today released a research paper titled Attrition of sexual offence incidents across the Victorian criminal justice system.
Sexual offences historically have had higher attrition rates than many other offences, meaning fewer of the recorded offences result in cases which progress through to a conviction in the criminal justice system. This new research examines how many sexual offences progress through the criminal justice system, from first being recorded by police through to being heard in court. The study builds on previous work in this area by linking information about sexual offending incidents recorded by police directly to cases heard in court.
The research found that a third of the sexual offence incidents recorded by Victoria Police throughout 2009 and 2010 progressed to prosecution by police (33.7%). Of those that were progressed, just over two thirds (69%) were matched to a court case, indicating that the offences went on to be heard in court.
The CSA’s Chief Statistician Fiona Dowsley said that the findings from this study were broadly consistent with previous research:
“The police investigation stage is where the largest proportion of sexual offences do not progress through the criminal justice system. In line with prior research, we found that around two thirds of cases recorded by police do not progress to prosecution, and around a third of those that progress to prosecution do not go on to be heard in court.”
The study also looked at which offenders, victim and case characteristics were statistically related to whether a case progressed. These included the type of offence, with indecent assault cases more likely to progress than rape cases. Where the length of the police investigation was more than two weeks, cases were also less likely to progress through the system.
Further information can be found on the CSA website:
For further information please contact:
Phone: 03 8684 1810