NSW Recorded Crime Statistics June 2012 Quarterly Report                

Click here for the full report (pdf, 582Kb)

Release date: Thursday, 6 September 2012 Embargo: 9am

Assaults and malicious damage to property are down, while stealing from a motor vehicle and fraud are up, according to the latest figures released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. The figures cover the 24 months to June 2012.

The incidence of non-domestic assault fell by 8.2 per cent while malicious damage to property fell by 5.6 per cent. Stealing from a motor vehicle rose by 5.4 per cent, while fraud rose by 5.2 per cent. The remaining 13 major offences were stable.

The ten statistical divisions (SDs) that showed upward trends in at least one offence were as follows:

  • Sydney: Steal from motor vehicle (up 5.6%), steal from dwelling (up 7.2%) and fraud (up 6.4%)
  • Hunter: Robbery with a weapon not a firearm (up 49.5%)
  • Illawarra: Steal from motor vehicle (up 18.6%)
  • Richmond-Tweed: Steal from retail store (up 12.7%) and steal from person (up 35.7%)
  • Mid-North Coast: Robbery with a weapon not a firearm (up 88.9%)
  • Northern: Fraud (up 18.3%)
  • North Western: Steal from retail store (up 19.3%)
  • Central West: Break and enter dwelling (up 13.2%)
  • Murrumbidgee: Sexual assault (up 31.3%) and
  • Far West: Malicious damage to property (up 18.3%).

Eleven out of sixteen metropolitan statistical subdivisions (SSDs) showed upward trends in at least one offence. They were as follows:
  • Eastern Suburbs: Sexual assault (up 47.8%) and steal from dwelling (up 13.1%)
  • St George-Sutherland: Fraud (up 20.1%)
  • Canterbury-Bankstown: Steal from motor vehicle (up 20.2%) and steal from retail store (up 36.0%)
  • Fairfield-Liverpool: Steal from motor vehicle (up 10.1%) and fraud (up 14.9%)
  • Outer South Western Sydney: Steal from motor vehicle (up 25.8%), steal from retail store (up 15.6%) and fraud (up 12.8%)
  • Inner Western Sydney: Steal from dwelling (up 35.1%)
  • Central Western Sydney: Steal from motor vehicle (up 11.8%) and steal from retail store (up 13.8%)
  • Blacktown: Steal from retail store (up 12.9%) and steal from dwelling (up 10.6%)
  • Central Coast: Motor vehicle theft (up 14.0%) and fraud (up 22.2%)
  • Newcastle: Robbery with a weapon not a firearm (up 47.1%)
  • Wollongong: Break and enter dwelling (up 11.2%), steal from motor vehicle (up 25.6%) and steal from dwelling (up 12.1%).

Comments on major trends

Almost half of the significant downtrend in non-domestic violence related assault came from falls in assault in outdoor/public places. Licensed premises accounted for another 14 percent of the fall. Non-domestic assaults on residential and educational premises accounted for 12 percent and nine percent, respectively, of the overall decline.

Upward trends in steal from motor vehicle were recorded for two SDs, five metropolitan SSDs and 16 LGAs. The growth in this offence is entirely attributable to a growth in number plate thefts. Recorded service station frauds (petrol station drive-offs) accounted for more than a third (36%) of recorded fraud offences in NSW in the 12 months to June 2012 (a rise of 20.8% on the previous 12-month period).

NSW trends in the expanded list of 62 offences

Among the expanded list of 62 offences for the 24 months to June 2012, eight showed an upward trend at the State level. They were:

  • Arson (up 9.9%)
  • Possession and/or use of amphetamines (up 26.3%)
  • Possession and/or use of other drugs (up 4.5%)
  • Importing drugs (up 138.2%)
  • Other drug offences (up 5.3%)
  • Criminal intent (up 10.9%)
  • Pornography (up 11.7%) and
  • Escape custody (up 24.0%).

Other noteworthy trends

The downward trend in assault on licensed premises has continued (down 9.3%). The significant downward trend was present for the two major contributors to licensed premises; hotels/pubs (down 8.4%) and clubs (down 14.8%). Over the last two years the number of incidents of assault with a glass/bottle fell very substantially, both for NSW as a whole (down 20.9%) and for Sydney SD in particular (down 26.7%).

Shooting incidents (i.e. 'discharge firearm into premises' and 'unlawfully discharge firearm') were stable over the 24 months to June 2012. Nevertheless April 2012 was the worst month in the past decade for the offence of 'discharge firearm into premises' with 20 incidents recorded (i.e. an average of 8.1 incidents per month over the last 24 months).

According to the Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, the most encouraging results in the June quarterly report are that the number of assaults on licensed premises has continued to fall, while shooting incidents, which had been rising rapidly, have stabilized.

'The rise in stealing from a motor vehicle is a direct result of higher petrol prices. People are stealing number plates to avoid detection when they steal petrol. If petrol prices start to decline, stealing from a motor vehicle will start going down.'

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn