Carjacking in Australia: Recording Issues and Future Directions

Front Cover
Australian Institute of Criminology, 2008 - Automobile theft - 6 pages
The term carjacking is commonly understood as vehicle theft involving threat, violence or intimidation. However, this has yet to be clarified within most legislative or offence definitions. Carjacking literature is limited, and perceptions vary about the level of violence involved, diverse scenarios and the motivations of offenders. The media tends to over-represent carjackings involving weapons and violence, although these are relatively rare incidents. Motivations range from instrumental triggers (where the car is used in some other crime) to acquisition for onselling the car or its parts. Similarly, methods vary from opportunistic to organised theft involving support. This paper examines increased carjacking in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and South Africa reported through the literature. Victimisation surveys currently may be the most appropriate source for collecting carjacking estimates. Offence definitions and recording practices vary between Australian jurisdictions, making accurate estimates. Local socioeconomic and cultural factors, such as firearm availability, are also discussed in the context of probable future trends in Australia.

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