Factual correction: Shootings in Public Places

Release date: 6 March 2013

The claim by the Prime Minister that shooting offences in public places in NSW have soared over the last 15 years is incorrect, according to the head of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

The claim was reportedly made by the Prime Minister last Sunday when announcing various measures to tackle organised crime in NSW and other States.

According to the Director of the Bureau, the total number of non-fatal shooting offences in NSW peaked at a six-month average of over 40 incidents a month in November 2001 and then began to fall.

By December last year the six-monthly average number of non-fatal shooting incidents had dropped to around 25 a month.

Only one type of shooting incident has increased over the last two years. The offence of unlawfully discharge firearm into premises rose from a six-monthly average of five in February 2010 to a six-monthly average peak of about 11 a month in August 2012.

In the last three months of 2012, however, the incidence of this offence dropped sharply. The six-monthly average in December last year was back down to around 6 to 7 offences a month.

More serious offences, such as shoot with intent to kill have remained fairly low and stable since 1997. Homicide offences involving a firearm have actually fallen across Australia.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 9231-9190

Graphs in pdf