Results of the NSW Crime and Safety Survey - Commentary by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

 

Release date: 19 November 2007
 
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) crime victim survey (Catalogue no. 4509.1), (which is funded jointly by the NSW Police and the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research) shows a significant increase in the prevalence and incidence of assault, according to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

The figures released this morning by the ABS show that the percentage of NSW residents over the age of 14 who were assaulted or threatened with assault rose from 3.5 per cent in the 12 months to April 2006 to 4.4 per cent in the 12 months to April 2007.

The increase appears to have been most pronounced among the young and among those who are acquainted with their assailant.

The percentage of 15-24 year olds who were assaulted or threatened with assault rose from 6.8 per cent to 10.2 per cent. No significant changes were observed in any other age categories.

The estimated number of assaults involving victims who were acquainted with their assailant rose from 86,200 in 2006 to 118,000 in 2007, a 37 per cent increase. The number of assaults involving family members rose from 17,400 to 25,000, a 44 per cent increase.

The director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that he was surprised that the crime victim survey figures for assault were not mirrored in the corresponding police figures, which have shown little or no increase over the same period. After all, the willingness of victims to report assaults to police has not changed at all.

Dr Weatherburn said he would be seeking advice from the NSW Police on whether there has been any change to police crime recording practices that might have influenced the recording of assault.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 02 9231-9190 (work) 0419-494-408 (mobile), bcsr@agd.nsw.gov.au