The relationship between traffic and non-traffic offending in Western Australia

Monica L Crosetta, Paul House, Jesse Parmar, Christine McComb, Elizabeth Pritchard, Geoffrey Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Self-selection policing is an approach whereby serious underlying criminality is detected by an offender’s minor crimes (known as trigger offences). Strategic offences are offences that indicate an increased likelihood that the associated offender will engage in later offending. The purpose of this study was to determine if first-time serious traffic offending in Western Australia indicates previous and/or future non-traffic criminality, thereby demonstrating the utility of serious traffic offences as trigger offences and strategic offences. The authors collated the crime data of all first-time serious traffic offenders in Western Australia between December 2004 and December 2014. Using this data, survival analyses were conducted to determine if and when a first-time serious traffic offender committed an initial non-traffic offence within 10 years of their first serious traffic offence. When comparing this data to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the authors found that first-time serious traffic offenders are more likely than the average Western Australian to have a previous or future initial non-traffic offence. Some groups of first-time traffic offenders were more likely to commit non-traffic offences than others including males, individuals under the age of 25, drug drivers and drivers without authority. These results support the use of first-time serious traffic offences as trigger/strategic offences and could be used to identify and divert traffic offenders with versatile criminal histories and traffic offenders at risk of future criminal activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-200
Number of pages22
JournalThe Journal of Criminology
Issue number2
Early online date9 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


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