Recent Trends in Crime in Kings Cross


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Release Date: 10.30AM, 12 November 2008

The latest Medically Supervised Injection Centre (MSIC) monitoring report released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has found that most categories of crime in Kings Cross are lower now than they were at the time the MSIC was established.

The Bureau attributes the fall in crime to the heroin shortage, which began a few months before the establishment of the MSIC in 2001.

Over the period January 1999 to December 2007, Kings Cross LAC experienced significant declines in robbery without a weapon, robbery with a weapon not a firearm, break and enter (dwelling), break and enter (non dwelling), receiving/handling stolen goods, motor vehicle theft, stealing from a motor vehicle, stealing from a dwelling, stealing from the person, other theft and arrests possession and/or use of narcotics.

Arrests for possession and/or use of cocaine and possession/use of amphetamines were up over the same period in Kings Cross LAC but arrests for possession/use of amphetamines also rose throughout the rest of Sydney. The number of arrests for dealing or trafficking in narcotics fell in Kings Cross LAC but remained stable throughout the rest of Sydney.

Between 2006 and 2007 the proportion of all arrests (in Kings Cross LAC) for use/possession of narcotics that occurred within 50 metres of the MSIC increased from 1.6 per cent to 7.8 per cent. Similar increases were observed within 50 metres of the MSIC for use/possess amphetamines (up from 2.6 per cent to 4.1 per cent), use/possess cocaine (up from 2.2 per cent to 4.1 per cent and 'move-ons' (up from 0.6 per cent to 1.3 per cent).

The Director of the Bureau Dr Don Weatherburn, however, cautioned that it would be wrong to conclude on the basis of this evidence that the MSIC is now becoming a magnet for people wanting to buy and sell illegal drugs.

"Firstly, the actual number of arrests for drug use is very small. Between 2006 and 2007, the actual number of arrests for using/possessing narcotics within 50 metres of the MSIC rose from 1 to 4 per year. Increases in arrest rates for the other drug categories were also very small (from 3 to 5 arrests for use/possess amphetamines, from 1 to 2 arrests for use/possess cocaine and from 10 to 21 'move ons')".

"Secondly, the growth in arrests for narcotic use/possession in the second half of 2007 was not confined to Kings Cross. It occurred across NSW as a whole. It is also worth noting that the jump in arrests for narcotics use/possession in Kings Cross has since disappeared. In the first half of 2008, arrests for narcotic use/possession throughout the whole of Kings Cross LAC fell from about 8.3 per month down to around 4.6 per month".

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