Family violence, drugs on the agenda for Crime Statistics Agency

With crime data reporting finally out of police hands, Victoria’s new independent Crime Statistics Agency released its first research agenda this week.

Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency will spend its inaugural two years focusing on family violence, sex offences, drug and alcohol use in crime and indigenous over-representation in the justice system, according to its first research agenda framework released this week.

The plan outlines the agency’s research strategy for 2015-17, setting out six overarching themes “required to fill reported gaps in the evidence base in Victoria”: profiles of offenders and victims, changes in crime over time, place-based analysis, recidivism and re-victimisation, co-occurence and offending trajectories and responses to crime.

The CSA, which opened its doors this year, provides regular releases of crime statistics and data, as well as conducting in-depth research into crime trends and issues, with the aim of contributing to the evidence base for policy and practice in Victoria.

Indigenous people are over-represented in the justice system, argues the framework document — with the growing number of Koori women in prison of particular concern. Much of the growth in the overall proportion of Australian female prisoners “can in fact be attributed to growth in the Indigenous female prisoner population,” it says, adding that “this shift warrants further investigation.”

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