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NSW Recorded Crime Statistics: March 2014 quarterly

 

Full report - NSW Recorded Crime Statistics: March 2014 quarterly report (pdf 573Kb)

Release date: Monday 2 June, 2014   Embargo: 10.30am

Statewide trends

In the 24 months to March 2014, only three of the 17 major offences showed significant upward trends. These were:

  1. assault - domestic violence related (up 2.5%);
  2. indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences (up 12.1%); and
  3. fraud (up 8.6%).

Seven of the major offences showed significant downward trends:

  1. robbery without a weapon (down 15.7%);
  2. break and enter dwelling (down 13.3%);
  3. break and enter non-dwelling (down 10.9%);
  4. motor vehicle theft (down 10.3%);
  5. steal from motor vehicle (down 3.7%);
  6. steal from person (down 12.9%); and
  7. malicious damage to property (down 7.7%).

The remaining seven offences were stable.

The increase in domestic violence-related assault may be partly due to an increased willingness to report this offence but as the rise is present for domestic assaults resulting in grievous bodily harm, the growth in recorded domestic assaults is also likely to reflect a real increase in domestic assault. The domestic assault rate should trend back down as we enter the winter months when assault rates are typically lower.

A large proportion of the increase in indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences has come from an increase in reports by child victims. There have also been increases in the reporting of historical child indecent assaults and from grooming/procuring offences.

Girls aged 17 years or under comprise 84% of the increase in victim numbers. The increase in this offence probably reflects a combination of seasonal effects (indecent assault is more common in the summer months) and heightened media attention being given to the issue of child sexual abuse.

The increase in fraud is mainly attributable to rises in the police incident categories deception offences and other fraud. Most of these offences relate to the unauthorized use of credit cards.

Recorded incidents of failing to pay for petrol fell by 17% in the 24 months to March 2014 but this fall appears to be an artifact of a change in police reporting procedures rather than an actual fall in the incidence of this offence. Since 1 September 2013, service stations have been required to report petrol theft by faxing a form to the police. This change has resulted in a sharp drop in the number of petrol thefts reported to police since September 2013.

The table below shows the two year and five year trend in non-domestic assault in NSW, the Sydney LGA and the Kings Cross Local Area Command (LAC). Separate trends are shown for total non-domestic assaults and assaults on licensed premises.



2 year trend5 year trend (average annual % change)
NSW Total Stable Down 4.9%

Licensed premises
Down 5.6% Down 6.8%
Sydney LGA Total Stable Down 3.3%
Licensed premises
Down 15.1% Down 5.2%
Kings Cross LAC
Total Stable Down 4.5%

Licensed premises
Down 30.5%

Down 10.7%

 

 

Over the last five years, total non-domestic assaults and assaults on licensed premises have come down across the State as a whole, within the Sydney LGA and within the Kings Cross LAC. Over the last two years, however, the fall in non-domestic assaults has been restricted to assaults on licensed premises.

Regional trends: Greater Sydney

Increases in domestic assault were recorded in four parts of Greater Sydney: the City and Inner South (up 5.1%), Inner South West (up 8.8%), Outer West and Blue Mountains (up 14.3%) and the South West (up 13.0%).

Apart from the increases already mentioned, there were few other upward trends in Greater Sydney. The most notable of these changes was a 47 per cent increase in robbery with a weapon other than a firearm in Parramatta. There was also an 18 per cent increase in stealing from a retail store and 12 per cent increase in motor vehicle theft in the Outer West and Blue Mountains.

Regional trends: Outside Greater Sydney

In regional NSW, the pattern was much the same, except for an increase in stealing from a dwelling in both Coffs Harbour-Grafton (up 29%) and the Hunter Valley (excluding Newcastle) (up 16%).

Other changes of note

The recorded incidence of assault police rose substantially (up 12.9%).

As in past reports, a number of drug offence categories increased. These increases, however, were generally smaller than in the last quarterly report.

Increases were also recorded in prohibited and regulated weapons offences (up 25.3%), breach bail (up 4.4%), pornography offences (up 27.6%) and transport regulatory offences (up 25.6%).

These changes are more likely to reflect increased enforcement activity rather than increased crime.

Although highly variable, shooting incidents exhibited no significant upward or downward trend over the past two years.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn (02) 9231-9190

Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au