The National Homicide Monitoring Program

About the National Homicide Monitoring Program

Homicide is among the most serious of all crimes. Preventing homicide and other lethal violence remains a key priority for Australian criminal justice and law enforcement agencies. The National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP) and its collection of data is Australia’s only national system with the capacity to monitor homicide rates, facilitate detailed analysis of homicide types and trends and communicate this to key stakeholders including police, government and non-government organisations, and the general public.

The NHMP collects data on the following:

  • all cases resulting in a person or persons being charged with murder or manslaughter. This excludes driving-related fatalities except those that immediately followed a criminal event such as armed robbery or motor vehicle theft, or which resulted in a charge of murder or manslaughter being laid;
  • all murder-suicides classed as murder by police; and
  • all other deaths classed as homicides by police, including infanticides, whether or not an offender was apprehended.

Data sources

The NHMP draws on two key sources of data:

  • offence records obtained from each Australian state and territory police service and supplemented, where necessary, with information provided directly by investigating police officers and/or associated staff; and
  • state coronial records such as toxicology and post-mortem reports. The National Coronial Information System (NCIS) has allowed coronial findings, including toxicology and autopsy reports, to be accessed online since 1 July 2001. Prior to 2001, the AIC accessed paper-based coroners files for the period 1 July 1996 to 30 June 2001.

Where appropriate, the data are further supplemented by media reports, which are monitored daily by staff at the AIC.

The accuracy of NHMP data is ensured through a quality control process that involves crosschecking the information contained in police offence records with other data sources. These supplementary sources may include post-mortem coronial reports, information provided by other divisions of the police services (such as statistical services, homicide squads or major crime units and firearms registries) and media reports. Should there be any discrepancies between the information provided in the police offence report and one of the additional sources, the circumstances are verified with the police source. Depending on the reliability of the additional source, and the information provided in response to the NHMP query, the NHMP data relating to the homicide incident may be updated.

Existing NHMP data are updated on a biennial basis; hence historical data presented on this site may be different from data published in previous reports.

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