NSW Recorded Crime Statistics 2005


Click here for the full report (pdf, 762kb)

Release date: 10 April 2006
Embargo: 11am

Figures released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show that NSW experienced significant decreases in seven of the 16 major categories of crime between 2004 and 2005.

Over the 24 months to December 2005, the recorded incidence of:

  • Robbery with a firearm fell 26.7 per cent
  • Break and enter dwelling fell 11.0 per cent
  • Break and enter non-dwelling fell 7.8 per cent
  • Motor vehicle theft fell 12.4 per cent
  • Steal from a motor vehicle fell 9.0 per cent
  • Steal from a dwelling fell 5.4 per cent
  • Steal from the person fell 12.5 per cent

Of the remaining nine major categories of crime, eight were stable (murder, assault, sexual assault, indecent assault, robbery without a weapon, robbery with a weapon other than a firearm, stealing from a retail store and fraud).

The only major category of crime to increase across the State over the 24 months to December 2005 was malicious damage to property, the recorded rate of which rose by 8.1 per cent between 2004 and 2005.

Among the less serious categories of crime, significant increases were recorded in harassment/threatening behaviour/public nuisance (up 13.0 per cent), offensive conduct (up 13.1 per cent) and breach bail (up 10.4 per cent). All other categories of crime remained stable or showed downward trends.

Much of the decline in crime was concentrated in the Sydney Statistical Division, where there were significant decreases in sexual assault (down 12.8 per cent), robbery with a firearm (down 27.1 per cent), break and enter dwelling (down 13.2 per cent), break and enter non-dwelling (down 7.0 per cent), motor vehicle theft (down 13.7 per cent), stealing from a motor vehicle (down 11.4 per cent), stealing from a dwelling (down 6.6 per cent) and stealing from the person (down 13.8 per cent).

The Statistical Subdivision of Canterbury-Bankstown, however, bucked the overall Sydney trend, with significant increases in robbery without a weapon (up 22.0 per cent), robbery with a non-firearm weapon (up 47.9 per cent) and fraud (up 10.3 per cent).

According to the Bureau, a large part (36 per cent) of the increase in malicious damage to property has come from an increase in incidents involving graffiti. Much (45 per cent) of the increase in harassment/threatening behaviour/public nuisance is domestic-violence related. All of the increase in offensive conduct is alcohol-related.

The Bureau also released data showing that the upsurge in shooting incidents in Sydney in the first few months of this year comes against the backdrop of a long-term decline in shooting incidents since 2001.

Over the five years between 2001 and 2005, the number of incidents involving shoot with intent to murder or inflict grievous bodily harm declined by 43 per cent, while the number of incidents involving unlawful discharge of a firearm declined by 40 per cent.

The Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said it was too soon to tell whether the recent upsurge in gun violence in Sydney this year heralded a reversal of the downward trend in firearm violence that has occurred in Sydney over the last five years. "We will have a clearer picture of that around the middle of the year", he said.

Dr Weatherburn also said that the increases in harassment/threatening behaviour/public nuisance, offensive conduct and breach bail should be treated with caution. Increases in these offences may reflect more aggressive policing rather than increased crime.

Further enquiries:
Dr Don Weatherburn 9231-9190 (w) 0419-494-408 (mob) www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/bocsar

Link to:
  1. Recent trends in recorded incidents of graffiti in New South Wales 1996-2005 pdf 408Kb
  2. New South Wales recorded crime statistics 2005: regional analysis of crime trends pdf 679Kb
  3. An update of long-term trends in property and violent crime in New South Wales: 1990-2005 pdf 237Kb