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Report on Government Services 2017

Volume C, Chapter 6

Police services

This chapter reports on the performance of police services covering the operations of the police agencies of each State and Territory government, including the ACT community policing function performed by the Australian Federal Police.

Please note: An errata was released with this chapter. The files below have been updated to reflect the changes.

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  • Key Facts
  • Indicator Framework
  • Indicator Results
  • Indigenous Data

Recurrent expenditure on community policing services across Australia was approximately $11.0 billion (or $459 per person) in 2015-16.

Police agencies employed 70 651 staff in 2015-16 (295 per 100 000 people).

Police services aim to contribute to a safe and secure community that enables people to undertake their lawful pursuits confidently and safely. To achieve these aims, governments seek to provide police services that:

  • are accessible, and responsive to community needs
  • support the judicial process to bring to justice those people responsible for committing an offence
  • provide safe custodial services
  • are delivered with integrity, honesty and fairness
  • promote safer behaviour on roads
  • respond, co–ordinate or contribute to disaster and emergency management.

Governments aim for police services to meet these objectives in an equitable and efficient manner.

The performance indicator framework provides information on equity, efficiency and effectiveness, and distinguishes the outputs and outcomes of police services. The performance indicator framework shows which data are complete and comparable in the 2017 Report.

Indicator framework

An overview of the Police services performance indicator results are presented. Information to assist the interpretation of these data can be found in the indicator interpretation boxes in the Police services chapter and attachment tables.

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Equity — Access indicators

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staffing

Proportion of all police staff who self-identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, 2015-16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 2.6 0.4 2.3 1.4 1.1 1.5 1.8 7.5 na
Source: Attachment table 6A.17

Staffing by gender

Proportion of all police staff who are female, 2015-16

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 33.1 31.3 34.3 29.9 31.5 35.6 33.7 37.5 32.5
Source: Attachment table 6A.18

Effectiveness indicators

Road safety

Proportion of people who had driven in the previous 6 months and who indicated that, in that time, they had driven when possibly over the alcohol limit, 2015-16

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 6.0 6.3 6.5 10.5 8.6 8.8 7.3 12.1 7.1

Source: Attachment table 6A.34

Deaths in police custody

The total number of deaths in police custody and custody related operations, 2014-15

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
no. na na 4 4 1 2 11

Source: Attachment table 6A.38

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in police custody and custody related operations, 2014-15

Most recent data for this measure are comparable (subject to caveats) but are not complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
no. na na 1 2 2 5

Source: Attachment table 6A.38

Magistrates court defendants resulting in a guilty plea or finding

The number of finalised adjudicated defendants in lower courts who either submitted a guilty plea or were found guilty, as a proportion of the total number of magistrates court adjudicated defendants, 2015

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 95.1 99.1 99.3 99.3 99.5 84.6 96.9 97.0 97.8

Source: Attachment table 6A.40

Satisfaction with police services

Proportion of people satisfied or very satisfied with services provided by police, 2015-16

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 74.9 74.8 75.6 73.3 77.2 79.3 78.5 75.8 75.2

Source: Attachment table 6A.12

Perceptions of police integrity

Proportion of people who agree or strongly agree that ‘police perform job professionally’, 2015-16

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 88.5 86.8 86.3 86.1 91.2 89.8 88.7 86.8 87.5

Source: Attachment table 6A.13

Complaints

The number of complaints made by members of the public against police, per 100 000 people in the population, 2015-16

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
no. 43 22 25 42 63 27 38 139 na
Source: Attachment table 6A.16

Juvenile diversions

The number of juveniles who are diverted by police (rather than taken to court), as a proportion of all juvenile offenders formally dealt with by police, 2015-16

Most recent data for this measure are neither comparable or complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% na 19 36 49 52 63 53 36 na
Source: Attachment table 6A.39

Outcomes of investigations

Proportion of investigations finalised, with offender proceeded against, within 30 days of the offence becoming known to police – sexual assault, 2015

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 36.0 52.2 56.3 45.5 69.6 60.7 32.6 57.6 na

Source: Attachment table 6A.31

Prosecutions where costs were awarded against police

Proportion of prosecutions where costs were awarded against police, 2015-16

Most recent data for this measure are neither comparable or complete
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 0.13 na 0.01 1.32 0.80 1.80 0.37 na

Source: Attachment table 6A.41

Efficiency indicators

Dollars per person

Expenditure on police services per person, 2015-16

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
$ 451 433 445 521 431 415 427 1 257 459
Source: Attachment table 6A.10

Outcome indicators

Crime victimisation

Estimated victimisation rate for sexual assault per 100 000 people aged 18 years or over, 2014-15

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
no. 325.2 ± 163.8 365.3 ± 204.1 356.9 ± 185.4 np 84.5 ± 81.3 np np np 328.5 ± 87.6

Source: Attachment table 6A.27

Perceptions of safety

Proportion of people who felt ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’ walking alone during the night, 2015-16

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 53.9 48.6 51.3 51.0 52.0 58.5 57.1 44.7 51.7
Source: Attachment table 6A.20

Proportion of people who felt ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’ travelling on public transport at night, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 25.8 25.6 23.6 18.3 25.0 18.8 31.9 12.6 24.3
Source: Attachment table 6A.21

Perceptions of crime problems

Proportion of people who perceive illegal drugs to be ‘somewhat of a problem’ or a ‘major problem’ in the neighbourhood, 2015‑16

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 51.0 53.2 40.6 50.6 41.0 44.6 33.3 50.2 48.3

Source: Attachment table 6A.22

Traffic accident hospitalisations

The number of hospitalisations from traffic accidents per 100 000 registered vehicles, 2014-15

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
no. 252 219 242 203 211 193 303 506 234

Source: Attachment table 6A.37

Road deaths

The number of road deaths per 100 000 registered vehicles, 2015-16

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
no. 7.2 5.8 6.3 7.7 7.3 9.0 4.2 27.9 6.9
Source: Attachment table 6A.36

Notes

These data and caveats for these data are available in Chapter 6 and Attachment 6A.

na Not available. .. Not applicable. Nil or rounded to zero. np Not published.

Performance indicator data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this chapter are available in the attachment tables listed below. Contextual data and further supporting information can be found in the chapter.

Indigenous police services data
Table number Table title
Table 6A.17 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, sworn and unsworn police staff
Table 6A.38 Number of deaths in police custody and custody-related operations,
2007-08 to 2014-15