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Definitions and explanations


When using recorded crime data, maps and graphs it is important to be aware of what specific words and phrases mean as well as to understand how particular statistical methods are applied. Definitions and explanations of many of the terms you will come across in our publications and on our website are given below. If you cannot find the answer to your query or you require further information, please contact us.

A  C  D  E  F  H  I  J  K  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

A

Abduction and kidnapping: Unlawful confinement of a person against that person's will or against the will of any parent/guardian/other person having lawful custody or care of that person (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of abduction/kidnapping.

Against justice procedures: An act or omission deemed prejudicial to the effective carrying out of justice procedures or any government operations (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the BOCSAR categories of breach AVO, escape custody, breach bail conditions, fail to appear, resist/hinder officer.

Age: Within the Crime Mapping Tool there are two age bands for offenders: juveniles (10 - 17 years) and adults (18 years or more). There are two age bands for victims: child/juveniles (0 - 17 years) and adults (18 years or more). If you require different age bands, please contact us.

Alcohol related: Shows offences which the NSW Police Force choose to flag as 'alcohol related'. 'Non-alcohol related' offences are the remainder of offences which are not flagged. 'Alcohol related' results are available for selected offences where police could be expected to have information about whether alcohol is involved. The offences that the alcohol flag apply to are assault, sexual offences, robbery, murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, harassment/threatening behaviour, abduction/kidnapping, offensive conduct and offensive language.

Amphetamines: A group of stimulant drugs that includes ice, base and speed (Department of Health and Ageing, National Drugs Campaign, 2012).

Arson: Intentionally and maliciously destroying or damaging property through the use of fire or explosion (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of bushfire, fire of structure, commodity, or vehicle, malicious damage - intent to injure or financial gain by fire.

Assault: Direct (and immediate/confrontational) infliction of force, injury or violence upon a person or persons or the direct (and immediate/confrontational) threat of force, injury or violence where there is an apprehension that the threat could be enacted (ANZSOC, 2011). Assault can be flagged by police as being domestic violence related or alcohol related. Includes the police incident categories of actual bodily harm, common assault, grievous bodily harm (including malicious wounding), shoot with intent other than to murder, assault police officer and spike drink/food.

Attempted murder: Attempted unlawful killing of another person when there is either intent to kill or to cause grievous bodily harm, knowing that death or grievous bodily harm would be probable (reckless indifference to life), not resulting in death (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of murder - attempted.

B

Betting and gaming offences: Offences arising from the operation of illegal betting or gaming, or breaches of rules or regulations that apply to legal betting or gaming operations (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of own/manage premises - betting, own/manage premises - gaming, conduct/play illegal game/bet, other gaming offences

Blackmail and extortion: Unlawfully demanding with intent to gain money, property, or any other benefit from, or with intent to cause detriment to, another person, accompanied by the use of coercive measures, to be carried out at some future point if the demand is not met (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of extortion/blackmail.

Breach Apprehended Violence Order (AVO): Act or omission breaching the conditions of an apprehended violence order (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of breach apprehended violence order - domestic, and breach apprehended violence order - personal.

Breach bail conditions: Act or omission breaching the conditions of a bail order (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of breach bail conditions.

Break and enter: Unlawful entry of a structure with the intent to commit an offence where the entry is either forced or unforced. Break and enter can occur in dwellings or non-dwellings. Dwellings include residential premises such as houses, home units or villas. Non-dwellings include premises where people do not usually reside such as retail premises, wholesale premises, educational premises, industrial premises, recreational premises etc (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of break, enter and steal, break, enter intent to steal, break, enter and commit other felony, break, enter intent to commit other felony. Excludes incidents of steal from dwelling where entry was lawfully gained (eg. stealing from a house to which the offender has been invited). These are under the 'Theft' category 'Steal from dwelling'.

Browsers (Internet): The Crime Mapping Tool works with Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer version 8 or above. We recommend the latest version of Google Chrome internet browser for best results and for the most efficient use of bookmarking within the tool. If you currently have Internet Explorer 7 or lower and wish to use this application, please upgrade your browser to version 8 or above. We do not guarantee the tool's performance on browsers other than the three mentioned.

C

Cannabis: Includes marijuana, hashish (hash) and hash oil (Department of Health and Ageing, National Drugs Campaign, 2012).

Clear-Up rates: A cleared criminal incident is one, which, in the view of police, has been satisfactorily cleared by the commencement of legal proceedings or otherwise. 

An incident is cleared by the commencement of legal proceedings when police have laid a charge against at least one person. The information may have been laid with a view to the issuing of a warrant, Future CAN or other process for the purpose of bringing an offender before the court.

A criminal incident is cleared other than by commencement of legal proceedings when, under normal circumstances, a charge or information would have been laid against at least one person, but, for a variety of reasons, police have been unable to make an arrest, despite knowing the identity of the offender and having sufficient evidence to support a charge. Examples of situations in which an offence may be cleared other than by charge include the following:

  • the offender is a juvenile and is cautioned;
  • the offender has died before a charge is made or information laid;
  • the offender has been committed to a psychiatric institution and is unlikely to be released;
  • there is an obstacle to charging, such as diplomatic immunity;
  • the complainant or essential witness is dead and proceedings would be aborted;
  • the offender is serving a sentence and police consider that no useful purpose would be served by prosecution.

The offence types BOCSAR reports clear-up rates for are those where the crime is likely to have been reported to police, rather than discovered or detected by police. Offence types where the numbers of recorded criminal incidents are influenced by police law enforcement activity (drug offences, for example) are excluded. For such offence types, the clear-up percentages are very high because clearing the offence generally occurs simultaneously with its detection (that is, an arrest is made when the crime is discovered). BOCSAR's annual reports provide information on criminal incidents cleared within 30 and 90 days after the incident was reported to the NSW Police.

Cocaine: A stimulant drug which comes in the form of a white crystalline powder (Department of Health and Ageing, National Drugs Campaign, 2012).

Counting period: Criminal incidents are categorised by date of reporting to police (or date of detection by police) rather than by date of occurrence of the offence.

In most cases criminal incidents are recorded on the NSW Police Force's Computerised Operational Policing System (COPS) on the day of reporting. However there may be some time delay before the incident gains the status of accepted and verified (which are necessary conditions for inclusion in the crime data). It is therefore possible for some updating of data to occur. That is, data extracted for a specified period of time may differ according to the date of extraction of the data. 

In recent years some historic murders have been re-entered on the COPS system after being referred to the unsolved homicide squad. Murders that were first reported to NSW Police prior to the introduction of the COPS system in 1995 but recorded on the COPS system in recent years are excluded from the statistics. Murders which took place prior to 1995 but were first reported to Police in or after 1995 are included in the statistics. 

Crime Data Model: This diagram shows the six main crime data sources available from BOCSAR as well as their relationships to each other. BOCSAR has data on the incident recorded by the NSW Police, together with any victims, objects or vehicles involved in the incident and any persons of interest causing the incident with any offences they may have been charged with. Also included with the Model is a list of the data items available in each of the data sources and the data items used to uniquely identify those data sources.

Crime Mapping Tool: An interactive application providing maps, graphs and data on criminal incidents, victims and offenders in NSW council areas (Local Government Areas), suburbs and postcodes. The tool is updated with additional data every 3 months.

Criminal intent: Associating with criminals, or behaving in a manner, or possessing tools, clothing or other material, that indicates an intent to commit a criminal offence (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of enter land with intent, armed with intent, disguised with intent, possess implements and intent to repeat indictable offence.

Cultivating cannabis: Actions intended to result in the cultivation or growing of cannabis (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of cultivation.

D

Day/Night: Within the Crime Mapping Tool 'Day' is from 6am to 6pm. 'Night' is from 6pm to 6am.

Deal/trafficking in illicit drugs: Supply or purchase of an illicit drug or controlled substances (where the amount involved is deemed to be of a quantity for commercial purposes) (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of supply drug/plant.

Disorderly conduct: Offences involving personal conduct that is deemed offensive to members of the public (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes BOCSAR categories of offensive language and conduct, trespass and criminal intent.

Domestic violence related: Shows offences which the NSW Police Force choose to flag as 'domestic violence related'. 'Non-domestic violence related' offences are the remainder of offences which were not flagged. 'Domestic violence related' data is available for selected offences against the person including assault, murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, murder accessory/conspiracy, sexual offences, harassment/threatening behaviour, abduction/kidnapping and malicious damage to property.

Drug offences: Possessing, selling, dealing, trafficking, importing, manufacturing or cultivating illicit drugs and misuse of licit prescription drugs.

E

Ecstasy: A stimulant drug made up of the primary ingredient methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) (Department of Health and Ageing, National Drugs Campaign, 2012).

Error message: Within the Crime Mapping Tool if users choose a selection for which data is unavailable (such as selecting the alcohol or domestic violence flag for an offence where the flag does not apply) a message advises users to change their selection.

Escape custody: Offences relating to a person who was in lawful custody regaining his/her liberty unlawfully (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of escapee - Department of Community Services custody, escapee - Corrective Services custody, escapee - Police custody, escapee - Other custody.

F

Fail to appear: Failure to appear before a court when required to do so (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of fail to appear.

Fraud: Inducing a course of action, by deceit or other dishonest conduct, with the intent to obtain money or other benefit or to evade a liability. The making, use or possession of a forged financial instrument with an intention to obtain an advantage (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes over 15 police incident categories some of which are deception, possess false instrument, fail to pay, embezzlement, computer crime, and corrupt payment (receive/pay).

G

Geographic boundaries: Statistics are provided on the number of criminal incidents (victims for murder and manslaughter) recorded for each of the Statistical Areas (SAs) of NSW as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Recorded criminal incidents which occurred in correctional, detention or remand centres, however, are not counted in the SA in which the incident occurred. These maps (link the relevant maps from the RC report) indicate the location of each SA as well as the Local Government Areas (LGAs) using the most recent boundaries within each of the SAs. Note that LGA boundaries change from time to time. A criminal incident is counted within a particular region when the location of the offence falls within that region.

The LGAs comprising Greater Sydney and NSW regional SA are listed in this table. (please link to tables from Appendix 5 of RC annual report below).

Graphs: Trend (line), column and pie graphs are available within the Crime Mapping Tool. Trend graphs (and tests) display monthly rates over the time period of interest. The column and pie graphs show the most recent 12 month period, even if a user has selected multiple years. The pie graph automatically shows the most recently selected region, even if a user has selected multiple regions.

H

Harassment, threatening behaviour and private nuisance: Actions that harass or are intended to harass, threaten or invade the privacy of an individual, not amounting to an assault, sexual assault, blackmail or intimidation. Can be face to face, written, or made through a carriage service (eg phone, computer, etc) (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of intimidation (includes stalking), telecommunications offences, threats against police, riot and affray, unlawful assembly, and violent disorder,

Homicide: Unlawfully kill, attempt to unlawfully kill or conspiracy to kill another person (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of attempted and actual murder, murder accessory/conspiracy, manslaughter, shoot with intent to murder.

Hotspot maps: To calculate hotspots, firstly a 50 metre by 50 metre grid is generated over the whole of NSW. Spatial analysis techniques are then used to calculate a weighted crime density score for each grid cell. Each cell is then sorted according to crime density. Using this method, most of NSW returns either no crime or very low crime. Approximately one percent of grid cells, those which have the highest crime density, are considered crime hotspots and assigned a colour (red, orange or yellow) to reflect the strength of the hotspot.

 

Hotspots are not adjusted for the number of people residing in or visiting the region and so do not necessarily reflect areas where people have a higher than average risk of victimisation. Hotspot maps are available for calendar years starting from 2006. On our hotspot maps:​  

 Transparent

    No Hotspot

    Yellow

    Low density hotspot

    Orange

    Medium density hotspot

       Red

    High d​ensity hotspot

For more information on hotspot maps please see our ' Understanding crime hotspot maps' publication.

For best results when printing hotspot maps, please ensure that you set the page layout to 'landscape' orientation (rather than 'portrait'). If your page orientation is set to portrait, only a small part of the map displayed on your screen will print out.

I

Importing drugs: Actions resulting or intended to result in the importation of illicit drugs or controlled substances into NSW, where the amount involved is deemed to be of a quantity sufficient for commercial activity (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of import drug/plant.

Incidents: The default counting unit for BOCSAR's crime data is recorded criminal incidents rather than recorded offences (except for murder and manslaughter where the counting units are victims).

A criminal incident is defined as an activity detected by or reported to police which:  

  • involved the same offender(s);
  • involved the same victim(s);
  • occurred at the one location;
  • occurred during one uninterrupted period of time;
  • falls into one offence category; and
  • falls into one incident type (for example, 'actual', 'attempted', 'conspiracy').

One incident may involve two offenders assaulting the same victim. This would be recorded as one assault incident. Alternatively, suppose a man reports to police that he found his neighbour in the process of damaging his car and, when confronted, the neighbour assaulted him. For such an event, two criminal incidents are recorded because two distinct offence types are involved (malicious damage to property and assault) even though the same parties were involved at the same time and in the same place.

Indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences: Includes more than 10 police incident categories some of which are act of indecency, aggravated act of indecency, incest, carnal knowledge, wilful and obscene exposure, peep or pry, bestiality, and grooming/procuring

Internet Browsers: The Crime Mapping Tool works best with the latest version of Chrome. The application operates with Firefox and Internet Explorer 8 however is not as user friendly in these two browsers. We do not guarantee the tool's performance on browsers other than the three mentioned.

J

K

L

Liquor offences: Production, sale, purchase and/or consumption of alcohol in breach of licensing conditions/regulations/laws (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of consume alcohol in public by minor, consume alcohol in an alcohol free zone, Licensing Legislation Offences (eg offence by licensee/ employee/ secretary/ minor/ customer (not minor), supply liquor to juvenile, offence against registered clubs.

M

Malicious damage to property: Wilful and unlawful destruction, damage or defacement of public or private property or the pollution of property or a definable entity held in common by the community (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of graffiti, malicious damage to property, public place - damage fountain/wall etc and public place - damage shrine/monument.

Manslaughter: Unlawfully killing another person while deprived of the power of self-control by provocation, or under circumstances amounting to diminished responsibility or without intent to kill, as a result of a careless, reckless, negligent, unlawful or dangerous act (other than dangerous driving) (ANZSOC, 2011). Police counts of manslaughter are very low as the distinction between murder and manslaughter is generally determined at court. Includes the police incident category of manslaughter (excludes the category of driving causing death). For this offence, incident counts represent the number of individual victims rather than the number of incidents.

Manufacture illicit drug: Actions resulting or intended to result in the manufacture of controlled substances used to make illicit drugs (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of manufacture drug.

Mapping Tool: The Crime Mapping Tool is an interactive application providing maps, graphs and data on criminal incidents, victims and offenders in NSW council areas (Local Government Areas), suburbs and postcodes. The tool  is updated with additional data every 3 months.

Maps: See either Hotspot mapsor Rate maps.

Motor vehicle theft: Taking of another person's motor vehicle illegally and without permission with the intent of temporarily or permanently depriving the owner or possessor of the use of the motor vehicle (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of 'stolen vehicle/vessel'.

Murder accessory, conspiracy: Being an accessory to murder or assisting with carrying it out or concealing its occurrence. Agreeing or conspiring to commit murder or soliciting, persuading, encouraging, or endeavouring to persuade someone else to commit murder. Includes the police incident categories of murder accessory and murder conspiracy.

Murder: Unlawfully kill another person when there is intent to kill or to cause grievous bodily harm, knowing that death or grievous bodily harm would be probable (reckless indifference to life) or without intent to kill in the course of committing a crime (felony murder) (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of murder - actual. For this offence, incident counts represent the number of individual victims rather than the number of incidents.

N

Narcotics: A depressant drug derived from opium or compounds similar to opium including heroin, morphine and methadone (Department of Health and Ageing, National Drugs Campaign, 2012).

n.c.: not calculated.

O

Offence classifications: BOCSAR recodes the offence categories used by the NSW Police Force to make them broadly consistent with the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC, ABS 2011, Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification, Cat. no. 1234.0​). These classifications do not necessarily correspond exactly with offences as defined in legislation. Please see offences within this page for specific offence definitions. This table shows which NSW Police Force incident categories comprise BOCSAR's offence categories. (page 48 to 53  table from Appendix 3 of RC annual report here)

17 major offences: Major offence categories include the most serious personal violence and property offences. The most serious of the violent offences is murder for which the incident count is the number of victims. Assault offences include the two major offence categories of domestic violence assault and non-domestic violence assault. All sexual offences are categorised by the two major offence types, either as sexual assault or indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences. Robbery offences are divided into three categories by use of weapon as: robbery with a firearm, robbery with a weapon not a firearm or robbery without a weapon.

The serious property offences include the burglary categories of break and enter - dwelling and break and enter - non-dwelling, motor vehicle theft and steal from motor vehicle. Other theft offences included in the 17 major offences are steal from retail store, steal from dwelling, steal from person and fraud. The final property offence listed as a major offence is malicious damage to property.

Offenders: Persons of interest who have a legal action commenced against them by the NSW Police Force. Legal actions can include: referral to court, caution, youth justice conference, criminal infringement notice, other infringement notice and/or cannabis or other drug caution. Persons of interest issued warnings by the NSW Police Force are excluded from the Crime Mapping Tool because the recording of warnings changed in late 2008 such that there is no continuity in the warnings series. For confidentiality, offender counts of between 1 and 4 are generally not shown.

Offensive conduct: Non-verbal behaviour that is likely to be considered offensive by another person (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of offensive conduct.

Offensive language: Use of abusive or improper verbal language that is likely to be considered offensive by another person (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of offensive language.

Other drug offences: Includes the police incident categories of forge/utter prescription, possess drug utensil, other drug detection/seizure offence.

Other drugs: Any drug other than cocaine, narcotics, ecstasy, amphetamines and cannabis. Includes pharmaceutical drugs.

Other offences against justice procedures: Offences other than escape custody, breach apprehended violence orders, breach bail conditions, fail to appear, resist/hinder officer (ANZSOC, 2011). Include police incident categories of other judicial offence and contravene a Child Protection Prohibition Order.

Other offences against the person: Includes the police incident categories of malicious damage with intent to injure/endanger, negligent act to cause grievous bodily harm, and other offences against the person.

Other theft: Includes the police incident categories of steal from marine vessels, steal vessels, other stealing occurring somewhere other than a residential dwelling (eg at temporary accommodation, business/commercial premises, in outdoor/public places).

P

Population data: The residential population figures for NSW council areas (Local Government Areas), postcodes and suburbs used to compute crime rates within the Crime Mapping Tool were obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics by special request.

Pornography offences: Includes the police incident categories of possess/disseminate child pornography and possess/publish indecent material.

Possess and/or use illicit drugs: Possession or use an illicit drug (non-commercial quantity) or controlled substance, the possession/use of which is prohibited under legislation (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of possess drug, use or administer drug.

Premises: The table below provides examples of the types of premises falling within the categories users can select from the Crime Mapping Tool.

 

Premises categories

Examples (not exhaustive listing)

Retail/Wholesale

Supermarket, market, general store, chemist, bookstore, hardware, cafe', butcher, newsagent

Financial Institution

Bank, credit union, building society, health insurance, money lender

Recreation

Sports ground/centre, gym, hall, golf course, race course, casino, art gallery, museum, cinema, tennis court

Residential

 

Road/street/footpath

 

Park/bushland/garden

 

Other outdoor/public place

Camping, caravan area, public amenities, water, cemetery, vacant block, other land, air

Carpark

 

Law enforcement

Police station, detention centre, court

Public transport - Bus premises

Bus, stop, depot, terminal

Public transport - Railway premises

Train, station, terminal, building, siding

Other public transport premises

Taxi, taxi rank, airport, aquacab, ferry, ferry wharf, freight depot, public passenger terminal, other

Schools

Public and private, primary and secondary

Other education premises (excl. schools)

University, TAFE, library, college, preschool

Hospitals

 

Other health premises (excl. hospitals)

Doctor, dentist, baby health clinic, nursing home, vet, laboratory, psychiatric centre, medical centre, drug rehabilitation/referral centre, optometrist

Licensed premises

Pubs/hotels, clubs, bottle shops, nightclubs, licensed restaurants, producer/wholesaler, limited license

Other

Adult entertainment, firearms, industrial, marine transport, office, other business/commercial, personal services, religious, rural industry, utilities, vehicle and unknown.


 

Proceedings against alleged offenders: Police may proceed against alleged offenders through a variety of legal or other processes. Most alleged offenders are referred to the NSW Criminal Courts. The more serious offences are dealt with by way of a Bail Court Attendance Notice (CAN) or a No-Bail CAN. In these instances, the alleged offender is arrested, taken to a police station, fingerprinted and the details of the person and all charges are recorded. Alternatively a Field CAN may be issued by police at other locations. A Future CAN is used for less serious offences. Due to the time lag between the incident being recorded and the Future CAN being issued, data for the last three months are likely to be low and subject to future revision.

Some alleged offenders are proceeded against but diverted from the criminal court system. For many minor offences police can issue Infringement Notices. By paying the prescribed penalty the offender avoids having to go to court. Under the Young Offenders Act 1997, a juvenile offender can be issued with either a warning, a caution or referred to a youth justice conference. 

Data on warnings under the Young offenders Act are available from January 2010 onwards. Due to changes in how warnings are recorded, this data series can not be compared with warning data previously published. A youth justice conference is a face-to-face meeting between offenders, victims and their support persons. The offending behaviour is discussed and an outcome plan for the offender negotiated. Note that both the police and the courts can refer a young person to a youth justice conference. However, the number of alleged offenders proceeded against by way of a youth justice conference as shown by BOCSAR's crime statistics include only police referrals to a Youth Justice Conference.

Each offender or alleged offender is counted only once for each event. Note that multiple criminal incidents may be associated with a single event. The processes are arranged in a hierarchy with the offender or alleged offender appearing in the most serious category where multiple incidents are involved. For example, if an event involves two incidents and the alleged offender is charged for one incident but receives a warning for the second incident, the alleged offender appears only in the relevant 'proceeded against to court' category.

Note that for offender police data, the year refers to the year in which the criminal incident or incidents were reported to police. For example, if an incident was reported to police in 2010 but the alleged offender was not apprehended and charged until 2013, the charge is recorded for 2010. Alleged offenders who are not legally proceeded against are not included in recorded crime data.

Prohibited and regulated weapons offences: Offences involving prohibited or regulated weapons and explosives (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes over 20 police incident categories some of which are bomb hoax, possess prohibited weapon/article, unlawfully discharge firearm, discharge firearm into premises, firearms - not ensure safe keeping, use firearm under influence, shorten firearm etc.

Prostitution offences: Offences involving the sale or purchase of sexual services (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of soliciting/prostitution in public, prostitution - premises, prostitution - live off earnings, consorting, child prostitution and other vice offences.

Q

R

Rate maps (within the Crime Mapping Tool): Illustrate the relative rate of crime per head of residential population for areas across NSW. Users can choose to compare crime rates across council areas (Local Government Areas), postcodes and suburbs. For the chosen level of geography the map shows areas with high, low and moderate crime rates computed by dividing the number of recorded incidents/victims/offenders by the residential population for each area. Local Government Areas with populations of less than 3000 and postcodes and suburbs with populations less than 2000 are hatched because their recorded crime rate can be unreliable. Areas with very small populations (ie less than 100) are shown clear on the map. In areas with small populations, a modest number of incidents/victims/offenders can have a large effect on the calculated crime rate thus giving a misleading representation of crime in that location. Rates should also be treated cautiously for regions with high visitor numbers relative to the residential population: a particular issue for the Sydney city centre.

Population data were obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics by special request. Please note there are some regions (mostly suburbs) which the ABS do not have population data for and thus this tool cannot accurately report rates (indicated by different colour shadings on the maps) for some regions. As such, the rate maps are intended as a guide only.

For best results when printing rate maps, please ensure that you set the page layout to 'landscape' orientation (rather than 'portrait'). If your page orientation is set to portrait, only a small part of the map displayed on your screen will print out.

Rate per 100,000 population: Rates are calculated using population data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). If no population estimates are available for the latest year when the report/data file was published, rates for the latest year are calculated using previous years population estimates.

Within the Crime Mapping Tool rates on the maps, tables and column and pie graphs are for 12 monthly periods. Rates on the trend graph and for trend tests are for monthly periods. Monthly rates are calculated by applying the corresponding ABS population to the monthly count and then multiplying the result by 100,000. Rates for 12 monthly periods are calculated by adding together the rates for each month in the 12 month period of interest (eg the 12 month rate for April 2006 to March 2007 is calculated by adding together the monthly rates for April 2006, May 2006, June 2006 up to March 2007).

While the ABS has population data for council areas (Local Government Areas) and postal areas (similar to postcodes) for all years available in the Crime Mapping Tool, population data for suburbs is only available from 2001 onward. As such, no rates can be provided for suburbs prior to 2001. Due to changes in ABS counting methods some suburbs do not have comparable population data prior to 2011.  For these suburbs crime rates are only calculated for 2011 onwards.

For Local Government Areas with populations less than 3000, suburbs/postcodes less than 2000, and for any regions with no population data available, the rate per 100,000 population is not computed (n.c. appears in the data table). This is because in areas with a small population a small number of offences can have a large effect on the rate of crime. Where the population of a region for a 12 month period spans across two calendar years, the earliest calendar year is used to determine whether to suppress the rate.

When advanced queries are run (eg juvenile males in X suburb), the population used to calculate the rate is the relevant population (ie the population of juvenile males in X suburb). If that specific population is less than 2000 for suburbs/postcodes or less than 3000 for Local Government Areas, the rate is suppressed (ie showing as n.c. in the data table).

Receiving or handling stolen goods: Receive, handle, process or possess money or good taken or obtained illegally (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of receiving, goods in custody, and possess property stolen outside NSW.

Resist or hinder officer: An act with the intent of resisting or hindering the directions of a police officer or other justice official in the conduct of their lawful duty (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of resist/hinder officer, refuse to be searched, refuse to produce object, refuse direction drug related/not drug related, refuse direction intoxicated person/continue intoxicated and disorderly, refuse for vehicle to be searched.

Robbery: Unlawful taking of property, with intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property, from the immediate possession, control, custody or care of a person, accompanied by the use, and/or threatened use of immediate force or violence (ANZSOC, 2011). 'Robbery' is further categorised as robbery without a weapon, robbery with a firearm or robbery with a weapon not a firearm. Includes the police incident categories of robbery, robbery with aggravation, demand money with menaces, robbery with wounding, other robbery, and armed robbery.

S

Sexual assault: Includes the police incident categories of sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault and assault with intent to have sexual intercourse

Steal from dwelling: Incidents of steal from dwelling where entry was lawfully gained (eg stealing from a house to which the offender has been invited) or where the offender did not need to force entry. Includes the police incident categories of 'stealing from dwelling' and 'other stealing' where the premises type was 'residential'.

Steal from motor vehicle: Unlawful taking of parts or contents from another person's motor vehicle illegally and without permission (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of 'steal from motor vehicle'.

Steal from person: Taking money or personal goods, whether from the immediate possession or control of a person without the use of force, threat of force or violence or putting the victim in fear (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of 'steal from person'.

Steal from retail store: Theft from retail premises of goods for sale, other than motor vehicles, by avoiding payment for those goods. This may also include the taking from retail premises of items not for sale, such as tools, equipment or furnishings (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident category of 'steal from retail store'.

Stock theft: Includes the police incident categories of steal stock (animals). It does not include stealing domestic animals.

Suburbs: Where a suburb or postcode has had no criminal incident recorded by police since 1994, it will not appear as an option to select from the drop down text search or as a region on the map when using the Crime Mapping Tool.

T

Theft and stealing: Unlawful taking or obtaining of money or goods not involving the use of force, threat of force or violence, coercion or deception, with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner or possessor of the use of the money or goods, or the receiving or handling of money or goods obtained unlawfully.

Tutorial for Crime Mapping Tool: For an online demonstration on how to use the Crime Mapping Tool, see our YouTube tutorial.

Trend test: In general, BOCSAR relies upon the Kendall Rank Order Correlation statistical test (or Kendall's tau-b) to determine whether a series is trending upwards, downwards or is stable (p<.05). The statistical test is applied to the monthly data over the specified period. A two-tailed test is used to determine whether there has been an increasing or decreasing trend over the relevant period. Some month to month variations in the counts could be due in part to seasonal factors. The test for trend is not sensitive to seasonal variation; it is sensitive only to a generally increasing or generally decreasing trend over time. Where a significant trend is found, the average annual percentage change over the time period is reported. If any of the 12-monthly totals in the series have a value of less than 20, a trend test is not conducted. Within the Crime Mapping Tool trend tests are calculated on monthly rates per 100, 000 population (rather than on the number of incidents/victims/offenders as is done within our annual and quarterly crime reports) to adjust for changes in levels of residential populations for specific geographic locations over time. In some cases the Kendall's Rank Order Correlation test can return a significant trend in one direction even when the annual percentage change is in the opposite direction. This is more likely when: crimes have an upward/downward spike somewhere across the time period; crimes show seasonal variation (eg assault); or the percentage change is close to zero.

Trespass: Unlawful and unwarranted intrusion upon the land or property of another, not involving any further criminal intent (ANZSOC, 2011). Includes the police incident categories of trespass and remain inclosed lands.

U

Unincorporated Far West: When using the Crime Mapping Tool while count data is provided for this region, rates are not displayed because the residential population data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for Unincorporated Far West also includes the population for Lord Howe Island. As such, on the rate map Unincorporated Far West and Lord Howe Island cannot be selected and are not coloured or cross hatched. Count data is available in the table output for both these regions.

V

Victims: Includes victims who have come to the attention of the NSW Police Force either because they reported a crime against them or the crime was otherwise detected. Victim information is only provided for crimes against the person (not property crimes or crimes without a typical victim such as drug offences). Victim information is provided for the offences of murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, domestic assault, non domestic assault, robbery, sexual offences and abduction/kidnapping. For confidentiality, victim counts of between 1 and 4 are generally not shown.

Within BOCSAR's annual and quarterly crime reports the default counting unit used for murder and manslaughter is victims (rather than incidents). Under the definition of a criminal incident (same parties, same time, same place, same offence and same incident type) one murder or manslaughter incident could involve two or more persons being killed. Because of the seriousness of these offences and their relatively small numbers, it is considered to be more appropriate to count the number of victims, rather than the number of criminal incidents. Hence, where one murder incident involves a person killing six people, six murder victims are counted.

W

Weekend/Weekday: 'Weekend' is from 6pm Friday until 6am Monday. 'Weekday' is from 6am Monday until 6pm Friday.

X

Y

Z

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