Threat Offences in Victoria

The Council has examined threat offences.

There are a number of types of threat offences in Victoria, including:

  • threats to kill or seriously injure another person
  • threats to damage property
  • threats to commit a sexual offence.

Threats to kill or seriously injure another person are very common generally. But they are also widely recognised as an aspect of family violence and a risk factor for family violence.

Police data shows that the number of threatening behaviour offences in the context of family violence has more than doubled in the last 10 years. Family violence related threats are now more common than threats made in other contexts.

Relatively little research has been done on how threat offences are sentenced or how such offending relates to physical violence. This is despite how common threat offences are, particularly in the context of family violence.

Are threats more likely to occur before physical violence or at the same time as physical violence? Or is there some other observable pattern in the relationship between threatened and actual violence?

Aims of the Project

This project analysed threat offences for the five years to 30 June 2019, including:

  • the number of threat offences recorded and sentenced in Victoria each year
  • the age and gender of offenders sentenced for threat offences
  • the sentences imposed for threat offences
  • the offences sentenced alongside threat offences (co-occurring offending)
  • the number of sentenced cases of threat offences that involve family violence.

The Council also analysed reoffending, in particular, what other offences offenders committed before and after they were sentenced for a threat offence.

In June 2021, the Council released Threat Offences in Victoria: Sentencing Outcomes and Reoffending.

This project builds on the Council’s previous work on family violence and serious offending.

Figure and table: Number of threatening behaviour offences recorded by police (source: Crime Statistics Agency, ‘Latest Victorian Crime Data: Year Ending 30 June 2020’)

Bar graph showing the number of threading behaviour offences recorded by Victoria Police from 2010-11 to 2019-20


Year Threatening behaviour offences in the context of family violence Threatening behaviour offences not in the context of family violence
2010-11 1,621 2,442
2011-12 2,823 2,612
2012-13 3,104 2,815
2013-14 3,359 2,742
2014-15 3,687 3,125
2015-16 4,115 3,085
2016-17 3,962 2,958
2017-18 3,836 2,925
2018-19 4,077 3,205
2019-20 4,208 3,013