NSW Recorded Crime Statistics 2011

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Release date: Tuesday, 17 April 2012, Embargo: 10.30am

State-wide changes

The offence of 'discharge firearm into premises' rose by 41 per cent (from 71 incidents in 2010 to 100 incidents in 2011) in the two years to December 2011, according to the annual crime statistics report released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

Around half of NSW recorded incidents of 'discharge firearm into premises' in 2011 were recorded in the three Sydney statistical subdivisions (SSDs) of Canterbury-Bankstown, Central Western Sydney and Fairfield-Liverpool.

The Bureau also noted statewide increases in a number of other categories, including:

  • Steal from motor vehicle: (up 7.5%) (44,783 incidents in 2010 to 48,159 incidents in 2011)
  • Abduction and kidnapping (up 26.9%) (297 incidents in 2010 to 377 incidents in 2011)
  • Stock theft (up 27.2%) (545 incidents in 2010 to 693 incidents in 2011)

On a more positive note, the number of recorded offences fell in a number of categories, including:

  • Non-DV assault: (down by 7.0%) (39,851 incidents in 2010 to 37,066 incidents in 2011)
  • Robbery without a weapon: (down 14.8%) (3,520 incidents in 2010 to 3,000 incidents in 2011)
  • Break and enter dwelling: (down 4.5%) (41,245 incidents in 2010 to 39,407 incidents in 2011)

The other top 17 major categories of crime were stable across the State according to the Bureau. There were, however a number of upward trends in parts of Sydney and regional NSW.

Key regional trends

Seven statistical divisions (SDs) showed upward trends in at least one offence. They were as follows:

  • Hunter: Steal from motor vehicle (up 26.4%)
  • Illawarra: Robbery with a weapon not a firearm (up 45.1%), steal from motor vehicle (up 25.4%) and steal from dwelling (up 10.9%)
  • Richmond-Tweed: Motor vehicle theft (up 23.0%)
  • Mid-North Coast: Robbery with a weapon not a firearm (up 59.4%) and break and enter non-dwelling (up 20.4%)
  • Northern: Steal from retail store (up 14.8%)
  • Central West: Domestic violence related assault (up 11.5%) and indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences (up 55.8%)
  • Far West: Non-domestic violence related assault (up 25.1%) and fraud (up 35.4%).

Seven from sixteen metropolitan statistical subdivisions (SSDs) showed upward trends in at least one offence. They were as follows:

  • Canterbury-Bankstown: Steal from motor vehicle (up 33.1%) and steal from retail store (up 37.7%)
  • Fairfield-Liverpool: Steal from motor vehicle (up 23.1%)
  • Outer South Western Sydney: Indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences (up 30.9%) and steal from retail store (up 10.7%)
  • Central Northern Sydney: Steal from person (up 26.3%) and fraud (up 15.8%)
  • Central Coast: Steal from motor vehicle (up 14.6%)
  • Newcastle: Indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences (up 34.1%) and steal from motor vehicle (up 22.3%)
  • Wollongong: Robbery with a weapon not a firearm (up 38.1%), steal from motor vehicle (up 31.8%) and steal from dwelling (up 12.4%).

Comments on trends

Commenting on the trends, the Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that while the increase in shooting incidents is a matter of serious concern, the frequency of this offence at the end of last year was still well below its peak in 2002.

"In 2002, NSW Police were recording about 30 shooting incidents a month. At the end of last year they were recording about 20 incidents a month. For reasons that are unclear, the offence appears to be cyclical."

"The increase in steal from a motor vehicle is a direct result of higher petrol prices. Whenever petrol prices rise, number plate theft goes up. Thieves put stolen number plates on their own vehicle to avoid identification when they drive into service stations, fill up and drive off without paying for their fuel."

"The increase in incidents of abduction/kidnapping is disturbing but the upward trend has actually brought the offence back to its long term level after unusually low figures were recorded in the latter half of 2009 and the first half of 2010."

"The increase in stock theft is substantial but the offence peaked in March 2011 and is now showing signs of decline."

The downward trend in assault on licensed premises reported in the last quarter was not present in this quarter with hotels, the biggest contributor, moving back to stable. However clubs managed to retain a significant downward trend (down 14.3%).

The Bureau also noted that, over the last two years the number of incidents of assault with a glass/bottle has declined significantly (down 11.9%) and for Sydney SD, the trend for this offence was down by 18 per cent.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 9231-9190