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Sentencing Advisory Council

How to use SAC Stats

You will use two pages to explore the SAC Stats data:  the Data Selection page and the Chart View page.

Data Selection page

The Go to SAC Stats link opens at the Data Selection page. This is where you choose the offence or offences you want to know about.

Note

If you leave everything unchecked and select "View Results", the results for all offences will be displayed.

To find an Act

  • Scroll through the list of Acts and tick the box to the left of the Act you want, or
  • Enter a word or words in the search box. The results will display all the Acts and Sections with that word in their name.

To find a section of an Act

  • Scroll through the list of Sections and tick the box to the left of the section you want, or
  • Enter a word or words in the search box. The results will display all the Acts and Sections with that word in their name.

You can select more than one offence by holding the "Ctrl" button as you click on them.

Act and Section selection boxes

Search for an offence

To look for an offence, you need to know a word in the name of the Act or Section.

If you have been charged with an offence, the paperwork should tell you the Act and Section you are charged under.

Sometimes the names of offences are not easy to guess.

For example, drink-driving is one of the most common offences dealt with in the Magistrates Court, but if you search for "drink" or "drink-driving" there are no results. The proper name of the offence is "Drive a motor vehicle while exceeding prescribed alcohol limit". It is Section 6(1) of the Road Safety (Alcohol & Drugs) Act 1970.

Use the Common names table to find the correct name of the most common offences. Use this information to search on the Data Selection page.

If you are searching for a particular Act or Section and cannot find it, this may be because there has not been a sentence recorded for that particular offence.

For more information, read What is not included in the data?

What is being counted?

The Data selection page allows you to choose

  • whether to count cases or charges and
  • whether to include sentences for single charges, multiple charges or both.
  • The default setting for "Cases or Charges" is Charges and for "One or Multiple Charges" the default is One Charge.

Cases or charges selection options

Also read the results for particular types of offender, according to:

  • Gender
  • Age Group
  • Recent Court History

For more information, go to Understanding SAC Stats.

View the results

To display the results for your selection, click on View Results. This will take you to the Chart View page.

Tip

You can view results on the Chart View page at any time.

Chart View page

  • The Chart View page shows the results of your query as a bar chart.
  • The number next to each bar shows how many charges or cases are counted in that bar.
  • The Total just above and to the left of the chart shows the total number of charges or cases in the results.
  • Hover the mouse / pointer over a bar in the chart to see more information.

Section chart with total number of offences and total for a single offence.

Offence information displayed when the mouse hovers over a bar.

Tip

If you have selected the Top 20 results, the Total still counts all the results, not just the Top 20.

Chart View display options

You can use these buttons to change the display.

SAC Stats Chart view showing display option buttons.

Start again

  • The Start Again button will clear your selections and allow you to start a new search.

Show values as percentages or Show values as numbers

  • Change the numbers in the chart to a percentage of the Total, or back again to the number of cases or charges.

'Show Top 20 results only' or 'Show all, not just top 20'

  • If you select a large number of Acts or Sections, you may get so many results in your chart that it can be hard to read. The Show Top 20 results only button limits your results.
    Click on the button again to go back to including all the results.

Show Sections for multiple Acts

  • You can use the Show Sections for multiple Acts button to set your results to the Section level rather than the Act level. This can be useful for comparing Section results for multiple Acts at one time.
    If you have selected a single Act or Section, this button has no effect.

Change selections

  • Click Change Selections to return to the Data Selection page at any time.

More Chart View page options

Other Chart View display options are:

Buttons for selecting filter options

Double click on the heading to change a category. This will show you the options for that category.

To see the results for different categories broken down in your chart, click on Show in Chart above that category.

Act chart with Gender display option highlighted

How to find your way around the results

There are several levels of results or chart types.

Tip

Your browser's back and forward arrows cannot navigate within SAC Stats.

The arrow on the top left of the chart will take you up a level. Click on a bar in the chart to go down a level.

Chart view screen highlighting the 'click to drill up' arrow

Act chart

  • Act chart shows the number of cases or charges under the selected Acts.
  • You will start on this chart if you have chosen more than one Act on the Data Selection page.
  • Click on an Act to drill down to the Section chart.

Section chart

  • Section chart shows the number of cases or charges for the selected offences.
  • You will start on this chart if you have chosen one Act, but multiple Sections.
  • If you have selected multiple Acts, you can reach this chart using  the "Show Sections for multiple Acts" button.
  • Click on a section to drill down to the Sentence Type chart.
  • Use the arrow button to move back up to the Acts chart.

Sentence Type chart

  • Sentence type chart shows the types of sentences for a selected Section. For example
    • Imprisonment
    • Community Service Order
    • Fine
  • Click on a sentence type to drill down to the Sentence amount chart.
  • Use the arrow button to move back up to the Section chart.

Sentence amount chart

  • The sentence amount chart shows the length, amount or size of the sanction imposed.
  • For example
    • Imprisonment is shown in number of months
    • Fines is shown in dollars
    • Community Service is shown in number of hours
  • Sentence Amount information is not available for the following sentence types:
    • Rehabilitation Program Order (Family Violence)
    • Recognizance
    • Undertaking
    • Licence Disqualification
    • Nominal Penalty
    • Demerit Points
  • Use the arrow button to move back up to the Sentence Type chart.
Skipping levels

For fully or partly suspended sentences, the Sentence Amount refers to the sentence of imprisonment, not to the length of time for which the suspended sentence is active.

For example, for a sentence of 3 months imprisonment with a suspension period of 2 years, the Sentence Amount shown will be 3 months.

Note

Where there is only one value for your results at a particular level, the chart will go straight to the next level.

Hover over the bar to view the information that was skipped.

For example, if there is only one Sentence Type, you will go straight to the Sentence Amount chart. You can still see what the Sentence Type is by hovering over a bar in the Sentence Amount chart.