What is robbery?

What is robbery? - Have you been robbed?

Robbery is a general term used to describe a broad range of crimes committed against a person. It is sometimes commonly, but incorrectly referred to as a burglary or break-in. Defined by law, robbery is the taking or trying to take something of value from someone, while using intimidation; force or threat or threatening to use violence against someone or their property. In order for robbery to take place, a victim must be present at the scene and can occur with a single victim such as a ‘bag snatch’ or in cases like bank hold ups, multiple victims.

Robbery includes the use of, or the threat of violence to take property under your control, even though it isn’t necessarily in your possession. For example, forcing a bank clerk to open a bank vault to take money is robbery, even though the clerk doesn’t physically possess the currency. Robbery can be a handbag snatch, an automatic teller machine (ATM) hold-up, an offender demands your wallet/purse with or without a weapon or may threaten you with violence or physically assault.

A ‘circumstance of aggravation’ is defined in the Criminal Code to mean the circumstances where immediately before, during or after the robbery the offender:

  1. Is in company of other persons;
  2. Does bodily harm to any person;
  3. Threatens to kill any person; or
  4. Where the person who violence or threats were used on, was over the age of 60 years at the time of the offence.

Robbery can be a violent crime. It can happen to anyone and anywhere. You may be confronted by an offender while you walk down the street, going to the bank or coming home from shopping. It is likely you will not know the offender. It can be a frightening experience that may leave long lasting effects on you.

for descriptions of criminal offences, including aggravated and non-aggravated robbery, view the criminal offence description page.

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