An update of long-term trends in property and violent crime in New South Wales: 1990-2010                


Click here for the full report (pdf, 873Kb)

Release date: 19 April, 2011, Embargo: 10.30am

New figures on long-term trends in crime released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show that some categories of crime in NSW are now at the lowest levels they have been for 20 years. Comparing per capita rates of crime in 2010 with per capita rates in 1990, the Bureau found that the rate of:

  • murder is 50 per cent lower
  • motor vehicle theft is 70 per cent lower
  • break and enter non-dwelling is 62 per cent lower
  • break and enter dwelling is 43 per cent lower
  • robbery with a weapon not a firearm is 23 per cent lower
  • robbery with a firearm is 66 per cent lower; and
  • robbery without a weapon is 5 per cent lower.

 The falls in these categories of crime, however, have been matched by increases in recorded rates of assault, sexual assault and 'other' sexual offences. Compared with 1990 the rate of:

  • assault is 86 per cent higher
  • sexual assault is 128 per cent higher; and
  • 'other' sexual offences (e.g. indecent assault) is 67 per cent higher.

 Commenting on the findings, the Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that most of the increase in assault and sexual assault happened in the late 1990s. Sexual assault continued to increase, but at a much lower rate after 2000. Assault remained stable after 2001 but is now showing signs of decline.

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