Sentencing Outcomes in the Magistrates' Court for Theft: New Report Released

19 December 2017

The Council today has released a report on sentencing outcomes in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria for theft offences over the five years ending 30 June 2017.

The report considers five categories of theft: theft from a shop, theft of a motor vehicle, theft from a motor vehicle, theft of a bicycle and general theft (that is, theft not covered by the other four categories, for example, theft from a house).

The report updates an earlier analysis that covered theft offences sentenced in the Magistrates’ Court over the four years ending 30 June 2008.

The latest report finds that over the five years to 30 June 2017:

  • 114,170 charges of theft were sentenced in the Magistrates’ Court
  • the annual number of theft charges increased by 31% or 6,166 charges
  • ‘general theft’ was the most common category of theft sentenced (56,710 charges), followed by theft from a shop (41,528), theft of a motor vehicle (10,714), theft from a motor vehicle (4,502) and theft of a bicycle (716)
  • the annual number of charges of theft of a motor vehicle increased by 170% (from 1,298 charges in 2012–13 to 3,500 charges in 2016–17)
  • motor vehicle theft had the highest imprisonment rate of any type of theft, with 36% (698) of offenders receiving a prison sentence.

Theft: Sentencing Outcomes in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria is available for download from our website.