Counting the costs of crime in Australia: a 2011 estimate

Crime Property Business Australia
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This report estimates the costs of crime for the calendar year 2011.

Executive summary

This report seeks to estimate how much crime costs the Australian economy by calculating the number of crimes that come to the attention of the authorities and, using crime victimisation survey data, the number of crimes that are not recorded officially. A dollar figure is then calculated for each estimated crime event and an indication given of the total cost of each specific crime type in terms of actual loss, intangible losses, loss of output caused through the criminal conduct and other related costs such as medical expenses, where relevant. Added to these costs are the costs of preventing and responding to crime in the community including the costs of maintaining the criminal justice system agencies of police, prosecution, courts and correctional agencies, as well as a proportion of the costs of Australian and state and territory government agencies that have crime-related functions. Finally, a deduction is made for the value of property recovered in the case of property crime, as well as the amount of funds recovered from criminals under federal, state and territory proceeds of crime legislation. More detailed information about how each of these estimates was derived is provided in the main body of the report.

Official attention paid to specific crime types, particularly drug-related crime and organised crime, affects both the reporting rate and also the cost of policing and correctional responses. In this sense, individual crime type costs and prevention and response costs are not mutually exclusive. Arguably, as individual crime types attract more attention, reporting rates increase and prevention and control of the crimes in question are seen as being deserving of increased resources

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