NSW Recorded Crime Statistics 2002

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Release date: 4 March 2003
The latest crime statistics released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) show that, in the two years to December 2002, there were substantial falls in six major offence categories, an increase in one offence category and no change in the other nine offence categories.

The falls occurred in:

  • robbery without a weapon (down 18%);
  • robbery with a weapon not a firearm (down 36%);
  • break and enter (dwelling) (down 13%);
  • break and enter (non-dwelling) (down 21%);
  • motor vehicle theft (down 22%); and
  • stealing from a motor vehicle (down 16%).

The rise occurred in stealing from a retail store (up 8%).

The following offence categories all remained stable:

  • murder;
  • assault;
  • sexual assault;
  • indecent assault and related offences;
  • robbery with a firearm;
  • stealing from a dwelling;
  • stealing from the person;
  • fraud; and
  • malicious damage to property.

The increases in stealing from a retail store occurred in the Statistical Subdivisions of Blacktown (up 25%), Outer South Western Sydney (up 27%) and Central Northern Sydney (up 18%) and the Statistical Divisions of Illawarra (up 21%), Richmond-Tweed (up 8%), Northern (up 29%) and the Mid-North Coast (up 14%). The top five items stolen in shop-stealing offences were mobile phones, money, cosmetics, food and cameras.

The regional trends in recorded crime generally mirrored the State trends, with most areas of the State experiencing either significant decreases or stability in most categories of crime.

Despite media suggestions to the contrary, no major category of crime increased in Cabramatta. That suburb experienced significant falls in robbery without a weapon (down 50%), robbery with a firearm (down 58%), robbery with a weapon other than a firearm (down 63%), break and enter dwelling (26%), break and enter non-dwelling (down 39%), motor vehicle theft (down 29%) and stealing from a motor vehicle (23%).

The most notable exception to the State pattern of falling or stable rates of recorded crime was in the Hunter Statistical Division.

This Division experienced significant increases in recorded rates of assault (up 9%), sexual assault (up 31%), indecent assault and related offences (up 39%), break and enter dwelling (up 20%) and stealing from the person (up 13%). These increases were all concentrated in the Newcastle Subdivision of the Hunter Statistical Division.

Other notable developments in this year's crime statistics were a 26 per cent decrease in 'shoot with intent' incidents, a 36 per cent decrease in assaults with a handgun, a 34 per cent drop in assaults involving a syringe, a 75 per cent drop in robberies involving a syringe, a 30 per cent decrease in robberies with a knife and a 14 per cent increase in assaults with a knife.

Most of the growth in assaults involving a knife has come from domestic violence. The number of domestic assaults involving a knife increased from 665 in 2001 to 891 in 2002, an increase of 34 per cent. The corresponding increase in non-domestic assaults involving a knife over this same period was only six per cent.

Commenting on the figures, the Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said it is still too early to tell what factors contributed to these changes. "The Bureau will be investigating this issue over the next few months".

Further enquiries:
Dr Don Weatherburn (02) 9231 9190 (wk) / 0419 494 408 (mob)