"It's more serious to illegally download a compact disc than it is to walk into a store and steal one"
What's the most serious crime you can think of? It's 'murder' according to the Bureau of Statistics, which puts it at number 1 of a new list of 154 crimes ranked in order of "perceived seriousness".
That's higher than did the Ten Commandments which placed it in the middle of the pack, below not honouring God or respecting parents.
The Bureau has drawn up the list to assist it in categorising offenders found guilty of multiple crimes. Where for instance one offence involves both blackmail and assault, it needs to know which is the most serious in order to list the "principal offence".
Released for the first time to the public as a stand-along publication the National Offence Index provides an unintentional guide to modern morals.
"Procuring or committing an illegal abortion" ranks at number 43, one above "property damage by fire or explosion"...
"Theft of intellectual property" comes in at 73, one above actual physical theft from a retail premises, suggesting that its more serious to illegally download a compact disc than it is to walk into a store and steal one.
The Bureau has been guided by the severity of sentences handed down by courts and also by "consultation with practitioner and advisory groups".
The advisors and courts apparently regard "graffiti" as more serious than air pollution and a good deal more serious than vilifying of inciting racial hatred."
Prostitution ranks fairly low on the scale at 136, just above resisting arrest and driving without a license, and below trespass and the use of offensive language.
The use of illicit drugs also ranks low at number 125, but the import, export, manufacture and selling of those drugs ranks highly at numbers 14 through to 22.
Two offences in the top ten are new entrants. Sexual servitude and child pornography weren't in the list when it was first produced in 2002. Other new entrants include "stalking" at number 31 and forgery of documents at number 61.
Offences that appear to have become more serious since the start of the decade include driving under ht influence of alcohol, up from number 89 to 37, and negligent acts "endangering persons," up from 91 to 39.
Pedestrian and traffic offences remain the least serious, joined by public order offences and consuming "legal substances in regulated spaces".
The ABS says list has no legal standing in its own right and will be used to prepare its crime and justice publications.
Published in today's SMH and Age
The Hottest 154
2 Attempted murder
4 Driving causing death
5 Manslaughter and driving causing death, n.f.d
6 Homicide and related offences, n.f.d
7 Aggravated sexual assault
8 Non-assaultive sexual offences against a child
9 Sexual servitude offences
10 Child pornography offences
11 Non-aggravated sexual assault
12 Non-assaultive sexual offences, n.e.c
13 Sexual assault and related offences, n.f.d
14 Import illicit drugs
15 Export illicit drugs
16 Import or export illicit drugs, n.f.d
17 Deal or traffic in illicit drugs - commercial quantity
18 Manufacture illicit drugs
19 Cultivate illicit drugs
20 Manufacture or cultivate illicit drugs, n.f.d
21 Deal or traffic in illicit drugs - non-commercial quantity
22 Deal or traffic in illicit drugs, n.f.d
23 Serious assault resulting in injury
24 Abduction and kidnapping
25 Aggravated robbery
26 Deprivation of liberty/false imprisonment
27 Serious assault not resulting in injury
28 Common assault
29 Assault, n.f.d
30 Other acts intended to cause injury, n.e.c
32 Other acts intended to cause injury, n.f.d
33 Acts intended to cause injury, n.f.d
34 Neglect or ill-treatment of persons under care
35 Other dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons, n.e.c
36 Other dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons, n.f.d
37 Drive under the influence of alcohol or other substance
38 Dangerous or negligent operation (driving) of a vehicle
39 Dangerous or negligent acts endangering persons, n.f.d
40 Non-aggravated robbery
41 Blackmail and extortion
42 Threatening behaviour
43 Procure or commit illegal abortion
44 Property damage by fire or explosion
45 Offences against government security n.e.c
46 Import or export prohibited weapons/explosives
47 Sell, possess and/or use prohibited weapons/explosives
48 Prohibited weapons/explosives offences, n.e.c
49 Prohibited weapons/explosives offences, n.f.d
50 Unlawfully obtain or possess regulated weapons/explosives
51 Misuse of regulated weapons/explosives
52 Deal or traffic regulated weapons/explosives offences
53 Regulated weapons/explosives offences, n.e.c
54 Regulated weapons/explosives offences, n.f.d
55 Prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences, n.f.d
56 Counterfeiting of currency
57 Bribery involving government officials
58 Subvert the course of justice
59 Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter
60 Obtain benefit by deception
61 Forgery of documents
62 Possess equipment to make false / illegal instrument
63 Fraudulent trade practices
64 Dishonest conversion
65 Misrepresentation of professional status
66 Other fraud and deception offences, n.e.c
67 Illegal non-fraudulent trade practices
68 Theft of a motor vehicle
69 Illegal use of a motor vehicle
70 Theft from a person (excluding by force)
71 Theft of motor vehicle parts or contents
72 Motor vehicle theft and related offences, n.f.d
73 Theft of intellectual property
74 Theft from retail premises
75 Theft (except motor vehicles), n.e.c
76 Theft (except motor vehicles), n.f.d
77 Receive or handle proceeds of crime
78 Illegal use of property (except motor vehicles)
79 Commercial/industry/financial regulation
80 Import/export regulations
81 Offences against privacy
82 Harassment and private nuisance
83 Exceed the prescribed content of alcohol or other substance limit
85 Property damage, n.e.c.
86 Air pollution offences
87 Water pollution offences
88 Soil pollution offences
89 Noise pollution offences
90 Environmental pollution, n.e.c.
91 Environmental pollution, n.f.d
92 Sanitation offences
93 Disease prevention offences
94 Occupational health and safety offences
95 Transport regulation offences
96 Dangerous substances offences
97 Licit drug offences
98 Public health and safety offences, n.e.c.
99 Public health and safety offences, n.f.d
100 Environmental regulation offences
101 Immigration offences
102 Quarantine offences
103 Offences against justice procedures, n.e.c.
104 Offences against government operations, n.e.c.
105 Escape custody offences
106 Breach of home detention
107 Breach of suspended sentence
108 Breach of custodial order offences, n.f.d
109 Breach of parole
110 Breach of community service order
111 Breach of bond - probation
112 Breach of bail
113 Breach of violence order
114 Breach of bond - other
115 Breach of community based order, n.e.c.
116 Breach of community based order, n.f.d
117 Prison regulation offences
118 Bribery (excluding government officials)
119 Breach of non-violence orders
120 Defamation and libel
121 Censorship offences
122 Vilify or incite hatred on racial, cultural or ethnic grounds
123 Cruelty to animals
124 Possess illicit drugs
125 Use illicit drugs
126 Possess and/or use illicit drugs, n.f.d
127 Other illicit drug offences, n.e.c
128 Riot and affray
130 Offensive language
131 Offensive behaviour
132 Criminal intent
133 Disorderly conduct, n.e.c
134 Betting and gambling offences
135 Liquor and tobacco offences
136 Prostitution offences
137 Offences against public order sexual standards
138 Resist or hinder police officer or justice official
139 Resist or hinder government officer concerned with government security
140 Resist or hinder government official (excluding police officer, justice official or government security officer)
141 Drive while licence disqualified or suspended
142 Drive without a licence
143 Driver licence offences, n.e.c.
144 Driver licence offences, n.f.d
145 Registration offences
146 Roadworthiness offences
147 Vehicle registration and roadworthiness offences, n.f.d
148 Exceed the legal speed limit
149 Parking offences
150 Regulatory driving offences, n.e.c.
151 Consumption of legal substances in regulated spaces
152 Regulated public order offences, n.e.c
153 Pedestrian offences
154 Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences, n.f.d
1234.0.55.001 - National Offence Index, 2009