By Molly McCarthy

A copy of the full report can be accessed here.

The Griffith Criminology Institute was commissioned by the Queensland Police Service to provide an analysis of trends in youth offending in Queensland. This analysis was designed to examine trends in the nature of offending, the characteristics of offenders, the frequency of re-offending, and the presence of co-offenders. The data used for this analysis was extracted from the Griffith Criminology Institute Social Analytics Lab (SAL) and covers recorded offences from 2008 to 2017 for offenders aged 10- to 17-years.

The analysis in this report is primarily descriptive, and focuses on examining changes in trends in the characteristics of youth offending and offenders over this period. The data extracted for the analysis herein comprises all recorded occurrences for offenders aged 10 to 17 years at the time of the offence, which had a start date the period 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2017. As noted above, 10- to 17-year- olds are referred to as youth offenders in this report, as this reflects the contemporary definition of youth offenders in Queensland as of 2018.

Overall, the results present a mixed picture of youth offending in Queensland for the 10-year period from 2008 to 2017, however they align broadly to trends seen in other Australia jurisdictions and internationally. The size of the youth offending population in Queensland has continued to decline over this period, and this decline in the number of youth offenders has occurred primarily through the reduction of the number of low to moderate offenders. There has also been a concurrent growth in the size of the chronic offending population, and this appears to be driving an increase in the total number of offending incidents in the more recent years.