Frequently asked questions

What offences are covered in the Crime Statistics?

The selected offences highlighted in the statistics include: assault, sexual offences, robbery, burglary, motor vehicle theft, other theft (such as shoplifting and fraud) and property damage. It is important to note that these numbers may fluctuate as new complainants come forward, more Traffic Infringement Notices are downloaded into the system, or when complaints are withdrawn.

It should also be noted that the individual geographical areas will not combine to the ACT totals due to the exclusion of rural sectors and other regions.

It is important for the community to understand there may be a straight-forward explanation for a spike in offences in their neighbourhood.

For example, sexual offences in Narrabundah increased from two in the January to March last year, to 32 in the first quarter of 2012. These 32 sexual offences relate to one historical case which was reported to police in January 2012, and which has since been finalised.

The smaller the number of reported offences involved, the greater the chance for a dramatic percentage increase.

How often are the Crime Statistics updated?

The CrimeStatistics map is updated quarterly. ACT Policing endeavours to provide updated statistics within the first week of the new quarter. 

A spreadsheet with offence data will be uploaded on a monthly basis. This spreadsheet provides a monthly breakdown of the crime reports for each zone. Please note the monthly offence data does not contain crime rates per 1000 population nor does it contain the interactive map provided on the quarterly basis.

Where do the statistics come from? How are they formulated?

In its rawest form, data comes from the community. Every incident/offence that is reported to police (grouped within the specific incident/offence type) will find its way onto the crime maps.

The statistics are derived from ACT Policing’s central Police Realtime Online Management Information System (PROMIS) – the AFP’s central recording system for all crime, incidents and offences.

Why do the statistics slightly differ from those provided in other reports?

The map does not include Other Regions (i.e. outlying rural areas to the south and west of Canberra) and so is not comparable with statistics provided by ACT Policing for other reporting, such as the Purchase Agreement, Annual Report and quarterly Report on Government Services. As such, the total of ACT offences excludes rural locations or where suburb information is not available through PROMIS.

Why is there no crime rate per 1000 people available for suburbs with less than 350 people?

This decision was undertaken as ACT Policing wanted to provide a consistent data reference base for the recording of statistics. Changing the rate by which the data is calculated may result in distorted outcomes.

Offence rates per 1000 population are only produced for suburbs that have populations greater than 350 persons as rates per populations expressed as per 1000 become unreliable and less meaningful for lower population estimates. This is particularly apparent for suburbs such as Fyshwick and Mitchell which have very small resident populations however, due to a high proportion of businesses and the commercial nature of those suburbs, may still be targeted by criminal behaviour.