There was a slight decrease in the number of incidents (3%) and victims (6%) compared with 2002-03. The figure below shows that most homicide victims in 2003-04 died from stab wounds, followed closely by being beaten to death with either a blunt instrument or assaultive force (hands and/or feet). Less than one in five victims (17%) died as a result of a shooting. Females were most likely to be victims of strangulation/suffocation or beating (26% each), while males were most likely to be victims of stabbings (38%). The Australian Institute of Criminology has collected data on homicides in Australia since 1989. Homicide includes murder, manslaughter and infanticide, but excludes driving-related fatalities unless these occur in the course of a criminal event. Homicide is regarded as the most accurately recorded crime in Australia and is thus a reliable indicator of the most serious violent crime.