Stats show Saturday is the most common day for robbery

Media release

Monday, 9 December 2019

Research carried out by the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council shows robberies in the Sunshine State are more likely to occur on a weekend than any other day of the week.

Sentencing data examined between July 2005 and June 2018, reveals 33.2 per cent of robbery offences* were committed on a weekend, with Saturday accounting for 17.2 per cent of cases followed by Sunday at 16 per cent. Monday proved the most common weekday for robberies, coming in at 13.8 per cent.

Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council Chair, John Robertson, said the Council’s new Sentencing Spotlight on Robbery looked at sentencing outcomes with a total of 6,109 cases sentenced for robbery between July 2005 and June 2018.

“A person commits robbery if they use or threaten violence immediately before or after stealing property,” Mr Robertson said.

“Of the cases sentenced for robbery over the period we looked at, robbery was the most serious offence (MSO*) heard at sentencing in 5,284 of them – our Spotlight report primarily focuses on those cases.

“We also considered circumstances of aggravation – where the person committing the offence was or pretended to be armed with any dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument, was in company with someone else, and/or wounded or used any other personal violence to anyone.

“Circumstances of aggravation are an important consideration for us because they represent more serious forms of the offence of robbery carrying a higher maximum penalty which is 14 years imprisonment for the crime of robbery, or life imprisonment if charged with one of the circumstances of aggravation,” Mr Robertson said.

The Council’s investigation found on average, offenders sentenced for robbery (MSO) were much younger at the time of committing the offence (22.6 years) than the average age of all sentenced offenders in Queensland (31 years) and, while the majority of offenders sentenced for robbery were male (86.9 per cent), the proportion of female offenders had steadily increased over the data period, from 10.1 per cent in 2005-06 to 13.2 per cent in 2017-18.

“Our research found that female offenders were slightly more likely to be sentenced for robbery with aggravating circumstances (96.2 per cent) compared to male offenders (94.4 per cent) and more than a third of female offenders sentenced for robbery were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (35.6 per cent), compared to a quarter of male offenders (23.2 per cent),” Mr Robertson said.

Across all offences in Queensland, four per cent of offenders were young offenders who were sentenced as a child. In comparison, the offence of robbery (MSO) had a much higher proportion of young offenders, with 23 per cent of robberies committed by offenders aged 10–17 years.

Young offenders were also more likely to be female, more likely to be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and slightly more likely to have aggravating circumstances compared to adult offenders.

“The data identified that in most robbery cases the offender pleaded guilty, either initially or at a subsequent date (98.5 per cent) and the age of an offender played a significant role in how a person was likely to plead with people under the age of 20 years more likely to plead guilty (99.5 per cent) compared to older offenders,” Mr Robertson said.

“The 40-49 year age group was the most likely to plead not guilty, with five per cent of offenders entering a not guilty plea.”

The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council established through its research that, of the 5,284 MSO cases, 32.6 per cent were only sentenced for the robbery offence at their court event, 16.9 per cent were sentenced for one additional offence, and more than 50 per cent were sentenced for more than one additional offence.

Mr Robertson said, “Our Spotlight report highlights the top eight most common associated offences and also describes the most common penalties imposed on adult and young offenders”.

The Council’s Sentencing Spotlight on Robbery is available free for download.

* A total of 6,109 cases were sentenced for robbery between 2005–06 and 2017–18. For 5,284 (86.5%) of those cases, robbery was the most serious offence (MSO) heard at the sentencing event. This Sentencing Spotlight focuses primarily on the 5,284 cases where robbery was the MSO.

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Jane Coates
Media and Engagement Manager
0459 887 077 /  (07) 3738 9498