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NSW Criminal Court Statistics 2004

 

Click here for the full report (pdf, 480kb)

Release date: 26 August 2005
 

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research today released its annual criminal courts statistics report.

The main changes noted in the report are as follows:

  • The number of persons given a prison sentence by a Local Court increased from 7,020 (6.7 per cent of all persons found guilty) to 7,546 (6.8 per cent of all persons found guilty).
  • The number of Indigenous persons given a prison sentence in the Local Court rose from 2,155 (16.8 per cent of Indigenous persons found guilty) to 2,446 (18.9 per cent of Indigenous persons found guilty)
  • The number of people in custody at their final court appearance in the Higher Criminal Courts rose from 1,670 (45.5 per cent of all cases finalised) to 1,731 (47.8 per cent of all cases finalised)
  • The median delay from committal to outcome in the District Court, for trial cases where the accused was on bail, rose from 214 days to 249 days (there was no significant increase in the period from arrest to committal).
  • The number of appeals to the District Court against the severity of a penalty imposed in a Local Court rose from 3,982 to 4,445.

The report incorporates a major revision in the way the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research identifies Indigenous persons in finalised criminal cases.

In past years the Bureau only counted someone as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander if they identified themselves as such in the year on which the court statistics report was based.

The Bureau now counts someone as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander if they have identified themselves as Indigenous at any court appearance since 1994.

The effect of this change is that the number of Indigenous persons reported to have appeared in the Local Court has increased considerably.

In 2003 the Bureau reported that 10,995 Indigenous persons appeared in the Local Court on criminal charges, whereas in 2004 17,655 Indigenous persons appeared on criminal charges.

The 2003 data in the present report have been adjusted upwards to avoid the false impression of an increase in the number of Indigenous persons charged with criminal offences. The increase stated above in the number of Indigenous offenders imprisoned, takes this change into account.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn. Ph. 9231-9190, Mob. 0419-494-408