NSW Recorded Crime Statistics: March 2013 quarterly report


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Release date: 5 June 2013 Embargo: 10:30am                

Statewide trends

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research March Quarterly report for 2013 shows falls in assaults on licensed premises, robberies without firearms, break and enter from non-dwellings and motor vehicle thefts.

Most other categories of crime (including non-fatal shootings) are stable; however fraud and domestic assault are up.

The Bureau's March Quarterly Report covers trends in crime across 154 Local Government Areas (LGAs) over the 24 months to March 2013.

Over this period, the total number of assaults on licensed premises declined by 7.7 per cent. A significant downward trend was present for both pubs (down 6.6%) and clubs (down 13.2%). The number of assaults with a glass/bottle remained stable.

Other noteworthy falls in crime include an 11.5 per cent decline in the incidence of robbery with a weapon not a firearm, a 7.4 per cent decline in break and enter non-dwelling and an 11.4 per cent decline in motor vehicle theft.

Against this backdrop, the recorded number of domestic assault incidents increased by 4.8 per cent, while fraud increased by 18.1 per cent.

The total number of non-fatal shooting offences peaked at 44 incidents in April 2012 but there is no systematic upward or downward trend over the 24 months to March 2013.

Regional trends

The Illawarra, North Western, Central West and Murray statistical divisions (SDs) did not exhibit any upward trends in any the major offences. Eight SDs recorded an upward trend in at least one offence and were as follows:

  • Sydney: Fraud (up 21.1%)
  • Hunter: Assault - domestic violence related (up 17.9%) and break and enter dwelling (up 16.4%)
  • Richmond-Tweed: Assault - domestic violence related (up 6.1%) and fraud (up 20.5%)
  • Mid-North Coast: Assault - domestic violence related (up 22.9%), assault  non-domestic violence related (up 6.9%), sexual assault (up 19.4%) and steal from dwelling (up 6.4%)
  • Northern: Assault - domestic violence related (up 8.5%), break and enter dwelling (up 31.5%), motor vehicle theft (up 34.1%) and steal from dwelling (up 17.0%)
  • South Eastern: Steal from retail store (up 57.2%)
  • Murrumbidgee: Assault - domestic violence related (up 9.6%)
  • Far West: Break and enter non-dwelling (up 36.6%) and steal from motor vehicle (up 59.0%).
Twelve of the sixteen metropolitan statistical subdivisions (SSDs) showed upward trends in at least one offence. They were as follows:
  • Inner Sydney: Steal from dwelling (up 13.5%) and fraud (up 31.6%)
  • Eastern Suburbs: Steal from retail store (up 26.6%) and fraud (up 13.2%)
  • St George- Sutherland: Steal from dwelling (up 12.4%) and fraud (up 22.8%)
  • Canterbury-Bankstown: Fraud (up 33.8%)
  • Fairfield-Liverpool: Assault - domestic violence related (up 7.5%) and fraud (up 31.5%)
  • Inner Western Sydney: Steal from dwelling (up 34.3%) and fraud (up 32.7%)
  • Central Western Sydney: Assault - domestic violence related (up 5.8%) and steal from retail store (up 20.9%)
  • Blacktown: Steal from person (up 5.7%)
  • Lower Northern Sydney: Steal from dwelling (up 12.5%)
  • Central Northern Sydney: Fraud (up 21.9%)
  • Northern Beaches: Malicious damage to property (up 16.9%)
  • Newcastle: Assault - domestic violence related (up 21.1%) and break and enter dwelling (up 17.9%).
NSW trends in the expanded list of 62 offences

Among the expanded list of 62 offences for the 24 months to March 2013, in addition to the upward trends in assault - domestic violence related and fraud, 11 other offences showed an upward trend at the State level. The most notable of these were for the following drug offences:

  • Possession and/or use of cocaine (up 43.5%)
  • Possession and/or use of amphetamines (up 30.7%)
  • Possession and/or use of ecstasy (up 77.5%)
  • Possession and/or use of other drugs (up 17.6%)
  • Dealing, trafficking in ecstasy (up 52.7%)
  • Other drug offences (up 14.1%)
Comments on major trends

Commenting on the trends, the Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that the number of recorded incidents of domestic assault was likely to fall as the offence occurs less in the winter months than during the summer months.

"The significant uptrend in fraud for NSW is partly linked to service station drive-offs but some of the growth in fraud is coming from other businesses such as supermarkets, electronics stores, department stores, licensed premises, general stores, takeaway food outlets, restaurants and public transport."

"It is difficult to tell whether the growth in arrests for drug offences reflects increased illegal drug use, increased drug law enforcement or some combination of the two. We will have a clearer picture of trends in illicit drug use when the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare releases its next national drug strategy report."

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 9231-9190