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Changes in the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) information service

 

Release date: 29 January 2004
 
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research announced today that, from April this year onwards, it would be posting quarterly updates on State crime trends in its web-site (www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/bocsar) as well as producing its customary annual report on crime.

The quarterly updates will cover the same range of offences as the annual report but the regional analysis will cover statistical subdivisions in urban areas and statistical divisions in rural and regional NSW. Detailed breakdowns of crime trends in Local Government areas will continue to be released annually.

According to the Bureau, these changes mean that NSW residents will have more comprehensive and more up-to-date information on trends in crime than residents of any other Australian State or Territory.

In future, the Bureau also intends to release its crime statistics reports at fixed dates throughout the course of the year.

The annual recorded crime statistics report will be released in the third week of April. The first quarterly update will be posted on the Bureau's web-site in the last week of May. The second quarterly update will be posted in the last week of August. The third quarterly update will be posted in the last week of November.

Commenting on the changes, the Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that he hoped more frequent updates on crime would help the public and the media get a better sense of what was happening to crime than was possible under a system of annual reports.

Dr Weatherburn said that he gave consideration to adopting the New York City Police Department practice of releasing weekly crime statistics but rejected the idea on the grounds that weekly crime statistics give a quite misleading picture of trends in crime.

"Due to inherent delays in the discovery and recording of some categories of crime (e.g. homicide, sexual assault), weekly crime statistics would tend to create the impression that some categories of crime were always trending down", he said.

Further information:
Dr Don Weatherburn 9231 9190 (wk) 0419 494 408 (mob)