NSW Recorded Crime Statistics quarterly updated: March 2010


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Release date: 10 June 2010

State-wide trends

The latest quarterly crime statistics released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) reveal that most major categories of crime in NSW are either stable or falling.

The BOCSAR figures cover trends in crime over the 24 months to March 2010. Over this period eight of the 17 categories of crime were stable, eight were trending downwards and one category showed a significant increase.

The offences trending downward were: robbery without a weapon (down 7.2%), robbery with a non-firearm weapon (down 6.9%), break and enter dwelling (down 7.1%), break and enter non-dwelling (down 14.9%), motor vehicle theft (down 5.9 %), steal from motor vehicle (down 12.8%), fraud (down 11.2%) and malicious damage to property (down 9.2%).

The offence trending upward was indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences. Over the last two years, the number of recorded incidents in this category increased by 3.3 per cent.

Regional trends

The regional trends generally mirrored the State trends, with most major categories of crime in most areas either remaining stable or falling. There were, however, significant upward trends in the Mid-North Coast Statistical Division (SD) ( steal from a motor vehicle up 20.3%); the North Western SD ( break and enter dwelling up 26.3%) and the South Eastern SD ( steal from a dwelling up 20.0 per cent).

A number of Metropolitan Statistical Subdivisions (SSDs) also reported increases in crime. The most notable of these were a 46.6% increase in recorded incidents of sexual assault in the Eastern Suburbs SSD, a 29.8% increase in recorded cases of sexual assault in the Outer Western Sydney SSD, a 31.5% increase in recorded cases of indecent assault in St George Sutherland SSD, a 21.2% increase in recorded cases of indecent assault in the Blacktown SSD, a 25.5% increase in indecent assault in the Wollongong SSD, a 75.8% increase in robbery with a firearm in the Fairfield-Liverpool SSD and a 21.5% increase in stealing from a dwelling in the Outer South Western Sydney SSD.

The LGA with the most favourable trends was The Hills Shire, which had seven categories of crime trending downwards ( non-domestic assault down by 19.1%, indecent assault (down 47.5%), break and enter dwelling (down 27.4%), motor vehicle theft (down 23.0%), steal from motor vehicle (down 25.3%), fraud (down 17.8%) and malicious damage to property (down 17.9%).

The LGA with the least favourable trends was Port Macquarie-Hastings, which had four categories of crime trending upwards ( indecent assault up 59.5%), break and enter dwelling (up 20.8%), steal from motor vehicle (up 53.9%) and fraud (up 38.2%).

Trends in other categories of crime

There were a number of increases for NSW outside the top 17 categories. The most notable of these were blackmail/extortion (up 143.6%), possession/use of cocaine (up 55.5%), possession/use of narcotics (up 21.0%), possession/use of cannabis (up 15.0%), possession/use of ecstasy (up 19.2%); possession/use of 'other' drugs (up 28.6%), dealing and trafficking in 'other' drugs (up 74.5%) and failing to appear in court (up 21.5%).

According to the Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, the big increase in recorded cases of blackmail/extortion is due to a group of extortionists duping parents into paying ransoms for supposedly "kidnapped" children. The extortion scam targeted the Chinese community, with most NSW victims being from Inner Sydney, Hurstville and Burwood.

"It is difficult to interpret the increases in recorded incidents of use and possession of illegal drugs. They could reflect increased drug use, increased law enforcement or both. We hope to get a clearer picture of whether illicit drug use is rising when we examine emergency department reports of drug overdose."

"Apart from the increase in harassment, threatening behaviour and private nuisance, the other increases are probably reflective of law enforcement activity. The increase in breach bail conditions (4.3%) is well below the 20 per cent increases recorded up to a year ago."

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