NSW Criminal Courts Statistics 2009

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Release date: 25 October 2010

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research today released its 2009 Criminal Courts Statistics Report. The main changes between 2008 and 2009 were as follows:

Local Court

  1. A small increase in the number of people whose cases were finalised - up 1.4% from 131,927 in 2008 to 133,743 people in 2009.
  2. A 2.1% increase in the number of Indigenous court appearances, from 17,242 in 2008 to 17,597 people in 2009
  3. Small decreases in (1) the percentage of people finalised 'in custody' (8.3% in 2008 versus 8.1% in 2009) and (2) the percentage of people sentenced to imprisonment (7.2% in 2008 versus 7.0% in 2009)
  4. A 20 per cent increase in the number of personal AVOs issued, from 6,587 in 2008 to 7,885 in 2009 (the number of domestic AVOs increased by only 2%).
  5. An increase in the median delay from first appearance to determination for people in custody who had a defended hearing and had all charges dismissed, up from 52.5 days in 2008 to 79.0 days in 2009

Children's Court

  1. A 2.47% increase in the number of persons whose cases were finalised, from 9,573 in 2008 to 9,810 in 2009.
  2. A 6.04% decrease in the number of Indigenous persons whose cases were finalised, from 3,408 in 2008 to 3,202 persons in 2009.

Higher Courts

  1. A 4.4%. increase in the overall number of persons whose cases were finalised
  2. A 10.49% increase in the number of people committed to sentence and finalised (1,563 persons in 2008 versus 1,727 persons in 2009)
  3. An increase in the median delay in the District Court from committal to outcome for people in custody who proceeded to trial and were acquitted on all charges, from 184.5 days in 2008 to 239.0 days in 2009

Commenting on the findings, the Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that the significant increase in the time spent in custody by offenders refused bail but eventually acquitted of all charges was clearly a matter of concern.

"In the District Criminal Court, the numbers affected are comparatively small (67). In the Local Court, however, the numbers affected by the growing delays are quite substantial (567)."

"At this stage, unfortunately, the cause of the growth in delay remains unclear."

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 0419-494-408