Rate of unique youth and adult offenders lowest on record

Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services The Honourable Mark Ryan
  • Rate of unique youth offenders lowest on record
  • Rate of unique adult offenders lowest on record
  • However, the cohort of offenders is committing more offences, leading to increased crime rates

An independent report just released by the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office shows the rate of youth offenders and the rate of adult offenders was the lowest on record.

The report analysed crime statistics from the 2021/22 financial years and found the rate of unique child offenders had continued its steady decline, to 1,926.4 per 100,000 persons aged 10–17 years, the lowest level recorded over the 10 year time series.

And the report found that there were more than 20% fewer unique youth offenders in 2021–22, compared to 2012–13.

In addition, while the rate of unique adult offenders has continually been higher than that of unique child offenders throughout the time series, it too declined to its lowest level in 10 years, with 2,276.6 unique adult offenders per 100,000 persons aged 18 years and over in 2021–22.

And the total number of unique offenders aged 18 years and over proceeded against by police decreased 6.6%, from 98,747 in 2012–13 to 92,274 in 2021–22.

Sadly, the report found that instances of domestic violence are still of major concern.

However, the Government Statistician does caution that a change to police data recording methodology has increased the reported number of offences associated with domestic violence matters, and that change needs to be taken into account when making comparisons over the times series.

But the reality is even just one instance of crime is one too many.

For every crime there is a victim, and it can be a traumatising experience.

While it is heartening to see the rate of youth offenders continuing to decline, the stark reality is that a small cohort of hardcore offenders is responsible for a disproportionate number of youth offences.

It is those offenders that the Palaszczuk Government’s tough new youth justice laws are targeting.

Quotes attributable to Police Minister Mark Ryan:

“The police and the government will never relent in our efforts to keep the community safe.

“Crime statistics will always fluctuate, but what will never change is the determination of the police to target those who wish to do harm to the community.

“While the rate of unique youth offenders and rate of unique adult offenders has declined according to the report, the reality is that there is a hardcore group of recidivist offenders who have to be held accountable.

“That’s why the government recently passed tough new laws that target those hardcore offenders with a new breach of bail offence, among many other measures.

“The government makes no apology for doing this, because keeping the community safe is always paramount.”

Quotes attributable to Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll

“We want Queensland to be the safest state and we are continuing to focus our efforts on delivering frontline services to reduce crime in our community.

“Despite the strong population growth in Queensland, the report indicates a sustained decline in the rate of both youth offenders and adult offenders across the state.

“There are several variables which have affected crime statistics reported in this period such as the change in methodology in the way we record DFV offences and the impact of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021.

“Nonetheless, any reported rise in crime is something police take seriously.

“Police are constantly assessing emerging crime issues and implementing a range of proactive strategies to disrupt and prevent offences occurring at a local level.”

Fast Facts

Government initiatives:

  • Biggest investment in policing in more than three decades to deliver more than 2,000 extra police personnel
  • An additional $332 million investment in youth justice initiatives
  • Expanded youth co-responder teams
  • Expanded intensive case management
  • Tough laws including the introduction of a breach of bail of offence for the first time ever in the Bail Act 1980

Independent crime report 2021/22:

  • Rate of unique youth offenders lowest in 10 years (rate in 2012/13 was 2,792.8 per 100,000 people; rate in 2021/22 was 1,926.4)
  • Rate of unique adult offenders lowest in 10 years (rate in 2012/13 was 2,811.3 per 100,000 people; rate in 2021/22 was 2,276.6)
  • Rate of personal offences ↑45.1% (Government Statistician note: From 1 July 2021, a change in recording practices was implemented by the Queensland Police Service, requiring police officers to record within QPRIME all criminal offences associated with domestic and family violence (DFV) incidents that come to their attention. Consequently, 2021–22 presents as a break in the time series for DFV–related variables that are based on recorded offences data.)
  • Rate of property offences ↑ 12%
  • Rate of other offences (total) ↓ 5.3%
  • Rate of drug offences ↓ 20.3%
  • Rate of domestic violence order breaches ↑ 15.7%

Note: above figures are a comparison with the previous financial year

/Public Release. View in full here.