Who are the Offenders?               

 

In 2013, 109,182 people were found guilty of one or more offences in the criminal courts of New South Wales. The table below shows the age and gender of persons found guilty in 2014.

People who appear in court may not be representative of all people who commit offences for a number of reasons. In some cases the police are unable to determine who committed the offence, so no one is charged. In other cases police deliberately divert offenders from the criminal court system. For instance, many young offenders are issued with a caution or referred to a Youth Justice Conferencing. Police also issue infringement notices for many minor offences. These figures exclude contested infringement notices for minor regulatory offences.

Despite court statistics only showing offenders who have been both apprehended and prosecuted, they still provide a useful insight into offender characteristics.

Age and gender of  persons found guilty of their principal offence  in the New South Wales Criminal Courts* 2014
Age (years)MalesFemales
10 -11 13
12 - 13 270 88
14 - 15 1,222 397 
16 - 17 2,752 696 
18 - 19 6,6481,407
20 - 24 16,416 3,814 
25 - 29 13,276 3,372 
30 - 39 21,301 5,692
40 - 49 15,124 3,936
50 - 59 7,162 1,745 
60 - 65 1,821 349 
Over 65 1,457222 
Total87,46221,720

* Includes appearances before the Children's, Local, District and Supreme Courts. Excludes those offenders for whom age and/or gender were not recorded

 

The 2013 New South Wales criminal court figures show that:

  • 80 per cent of proven offenders in New South Wales are male. 
  • 69 per cent of all offenders in the New South Wales courts are aged 25 or over.
  • Males constitute a very high proportion of offenders appearing for sexual assault and related offences, prohibited and regulated weapons and explosives offences, unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter and robbery, extortion and related offences.
  • While females do not make up the majority of offenders for any of the broad crime categories, there are certain offences for which they do make up a larger proportion of offenders including fraud, deception and related offences, theft (except motor vehicles) and public health and safety offences.

The table and figure below show the rate of criminal offending by age group and gender. For each age group, the number of proven offenders has been compared with the resident population of New South Wales, using figures from the 2011 Census published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

 

 

Number of offenders per 100,000 population, by age and gender, 2013
Age (years)MalesFemales
10 - 11 14.5 2.4 
12 - 13 300.0 103.0 
14 - 15 1338.7 461.7 
16 - 17 2980.6 794.7 
18 - 19 7358.1 1660.5 
20 - 24 7233.2 1712.4 
25 - 29 5681.0 1408.1 
30 - 39 4536.6 1169.0
40 - 49 3205.8 798.1
50 - 59 1641.0 385.9
60 - 65 938.5 177.5
Over 65 314.2 40.0
Total2965.0706.5

 

 From this figure it can be seen that:

  • Males are much more likely than females to be convicted of an offence.
  • Males aged 18 to 19 have the highest rate of offending, followed by 20 to 24 year old males (7358.1 and 7233.2 male offenders per 100,000 population respectively).

 

Further References

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006, Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories, June 2006 , Cat. no. 3201.0, ABS, Canberra
New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research 2014, New South Wales Criminal Courts Statistics 2010, New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Sydney.