Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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collapse Question :  1. Where do I find local crime statistics? ‎(1)

​There are multiple resources which provide local crime statistics:

  1. Crime Mapping Tool - If you want to prepare your own tailored crime report, our interactive Crime Mapping Tool provides maps, graphs and data on criminal incidents, victims and offenders in NSW council areas (Local Government Areas (LGAs), suburbs and postcodes. You can also make use of the advanced search options to further tailor your report. Some of the advanced options available are domestic or alcohol related crimes, time of day, age and gender, or crimes occurring at different types of places (eg schools, licensed premises etc). The tool contains the most up to date crime data available. It is updated every three months.

  2. NSW Local Government Area excel tables (LGA). If you prefer to have an already prepared file, our Local Government Area excel tables provide five calendar years of crime data (rates and counts) for over 60 offence types for each NSW council area, the Greater Sydney Region, Regional NSW and Total NSW. These files also include  information about victims and alleged offenders, alcohol related crimes, crimes occurring at different premises types as well as during different months and times of the day. These files are updated quarterly.

  3. Our quarterly recorded crime reports.

collapse Question :  2. I'm interested in crime maps. Where are they? ‎(1)

Crime maps are available within the Crime Mapping Tool as well as within specific crime publications. BOCSAR produces both rate maps and hotspot maps. Rate maps show the relative rate of crime per head of residential population for areas across NSW; hotspot maps indicate areas with a high level of clustering or density of criminal incidents relative to crime concentrations across NSW (irrespective of residential population). If you are after more information about BOCSAR's crime maps, see our definitions of rate and hotspot maps.

collapse Question :  4. I'm new to using crime statistics – what do I need to know? ‎(1)

Our Introduction to using crime statistics page is just for you.

collapse Question :  5. What kinds of crime data does BOCSAR have? ‎(1)

BOCSAR's crime data consists of criminal incidents, victims and alleged offenders (or persons of interest (POIs)) recorded on the NSW Police Force's Computerised Operational Policing System (COPS).

BOCSAR reports on crime data for over 60 specific offences via our interactive Crime Mapping Tool. For more information about offences, see the table showing the NSW Police Force incident categories comprising BOCSAR's offence categories. For definitions of specific offences, please see our definitions page.

collapse Question :  6. What are the definitions of offence categories (eg alcohol related crime)? ‎(1)

For police recorded crime data, 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.

For more information about police recorded crime categories, see the table showing the NSW Police Force incident categories comprising BOCSAR's offence categories.

For NSW criminal court data, BOCSAR reports on offence categories according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification (ANZSOC, ABS 2011, Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification, Cat. no. 1234.0). Upon request BOCSAR can also prepare court data at the lawpart or Act/section level for specific pieces of legislation (eg under section 51A Crimes Act 1900, lawpart 24747).

For definitions of specific offences (for both crime and court data), please see our definitions page.

collapse Question :  7. Can I get more information/data than is on your website? ‎(1)

Yes, provided we have the data available. In line with our Information Service Policy, if what you are after is relatively straightforward for BOCSAR staff to prepare (i.e. will take less than 30 minutes to compile), it will be free of charge and will be available within 5 working days. If you are after data that is more complex to prepare (ie it will take more than 30 minutes to compile), it will incur a cost and will take up to 15 working days to prepare.

Charges are determined on a cost recovery basis. The minimum charge for data requests taking longer than 30 minutes and up to 2 hours to complete is $500 (incl GST). Data requests taking longer than two hours incur an additional charge of $250 per hour (or part thereof).

Requests for updates of data within 12 months of the original request may incur the minimum fee of $500 plus GST.

The following agencies/individuals are exempt from charging:

  • State Government agencies
  • Members of Parliament
  • Other individuals or organisations collaborating with BOCSAR 
collapse Question :  8. I can’t find what I need on the website – what do I do? ‎(1)

If you can't find what you are after on our website please contact us.

collapse Question :  9. I'm after unit record level data (eg GIS point data, person identified data) – what requirements do I need to satisfy? ‎(1)

​Unit record information will only be provided to bona fide researchers if they have first obtained ethics committee clearance from a recognised university or research institute for the proposed research. The approval must specifically cover the use of unit record level data from BOCSAR. After ethics approval has been granted, researchers must then complete and submit a Deed of Access form to BOCSAR's Director or Deputy Director for assessment. Further information and the necessary forms are available within BOCSAR's Information Service Policy, our Unit Record Level Reoffending requirements and our Unit Record Level Crime requirements.

collapse Question : 10. What's the most recent crime data available and when’s the next update? ‎(1)

​BOCSAR releases recorded crime data four times a year, generally in March, June, September and December. To ensure crime data is as accurate, valid and reliable as can be, we release data three to four months after the current quarter (e.g. in September data ending June for that year is released). To access our most recent recorded crime report, see our recorded crime page. To generate your own crime report using the most recent crime data available, visit our Crime Mapping Tool.

collapse Question : 11. I'm a researcher – is there a research dataset I can access? ‎(1)

Yes, we have large Recorded Crime datasets which have been designed for researchers. Have a look at our publically avaliable data sets

collapse Question : 12. I'm a journalist – what does your latest report show, what are the Executive Director’s comments about it and can I arrange an interview with him to discuss it more? ‎(1)

Our latest report (and associated media release if applicable) is available from our home page. Older reports and media releases are available from our publications page.

To arrange an interview with BOCSAR's Executive Director, please either phone BOCSAR on 8688 9800 or email us.

collapse Question : 13. How can I watch past BOCSAR presentations (via YouTube)? ‎(1)

BOCSAR has a YouTube channel where you can watch presentations, tutorials and demos.

collapse Question : 14. How do I subscribe to receive automatic email notifications of new BOCSAR publications and updated data? ‎(1)

Simply send an email to us and type 'Subscribe' in the subject line. We'll send you an email each time we release new data or publish a new paper.

You can join our mailing list here or by clicking on the link 'Join our mailing list' on the Contact Us page of the BOCSAR website.

collapse Question : 3. How do I use the interactive Crime Mapping Tool? ‎(1)

​We have written instructions and tips on how to use the tool within our Crime Mapping Tool user guide, including a demonstration on YouTube