Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week show the number of male offenders in the State was down 5 per cent in the year ended June 30, 2013 (the latest period examined) from the same period a year earlier. The number of women offenders dropped 4 per cent.
The total number of offenders has now declined significantly in each of the past five years, defying an increasing trend in the other major states of New South Wales and Victoria.
The number of youth offenders plunged 24 per cent to 5600, from 7300 in the same period a year earlier.
Court statistics showed the number of traffic offences had also slowed.
Over a third of court cases finalised during 2012-13 were for traffic offences.
‘Despite a fall of 6 per cent, traffic offences were still the most common principal offence in Australia,’ said ABS spokesman William Milne.
The majority of traffic offences were either alcohol or drivers licence-related, with speeding making up about 9 per cent of the total.
In total, 561,554 defendants had their cases finalised by the courts ” down 2 per cent from the previous year.
Of those defendants who were proven guilty, 89 per cent were given a non-custodial order such as a fine, 7 per cent were jailed and 4 per cent were given suspended sentences.
WA reported the second lowest offender rate ” 1400 offenders per 100,000 population aged 10 years and over ” after the Australian Capital Territory.
But it was not all good news. The State reported the highest proportion of abduction/harassment offenders at 2129; almost half the national total.