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Full report - NSW Criminal Courts Statistics 2016 (Excel 845Kb)
Embargo: 10:30AM, Wednesday 24 May 2017
Between 2012 and 2016, the median delay in the NSW District Court between committal for trial and finalisation rose by 56%, from 243 days to 378 days. The median time between arrest and trial finalisation is now 714 days (up from 512 days in 2012).
This increase has occurred against the backdrop of substantial increases in the workload of both the District Criminal Court.
Between 2012 and 2016, the number of matters committed for trial in the NSW District Criminal Court rose by 35.4% and the number of matters committed for sentence rose by 37.6%. The number of matters finalised by trial increased by 39.7% and the number finalised by sentence increased by 36.1%.
The increased workload in the NSW District Criminal Court since 2012 has come primarily from increases in cases involving illicit drug offences (an additional 577 defendants had finalised court appearances), sexual assault and related offences (an additional 293 defendants had finalised court appearances), and theft and related offences (an additional 225 defendants had finalised court appearances).
The workload of the NSW Local Court has also risen substantially over the last few years with 18,445 more cases finalised in 2016 than were finalised in 2012 (an increase of 17.0%). There has been little change, however in the time taken to finalise defended cases in that jurisdiction.
The increased workload in the NSW Local Court since 2012 has come primarily from increases in traffic and vehicle regulatory offences1 (an additional 8,976 defendants had finalised court appearances), justice procedure offences2 (an additional 6,177 defendants had finalised appearances), illicit drug offences (an additional 6,155 defendants had finalised court appearances), and acts intended to cause injury3 (an additional 2,747 defendants had finalised court appearances.
The period between 2012 to 2016 has also seen substantial increases in the proportion of defendants refused bail (up 19.8%, from 5.9% to 7.0%) and the proportion of convicted offenders given a prison sentence (up 22.0%, from 8.4% to 10.2%).
Commenting on the growth in court delay, the director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said it was not surprising given the rapid growth in arrests since 2012. “Last year NSW police put more than 244,000 people before the NSW courts, an increase of 14.0% on the corresponding figure for 2012. That’s close to the record set just after the heroin epidemic peaked in 2001.”
Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn – 8346 1100Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au
_______________________1 e.g drive while license disqualified or suspended2 e.g. breach of bond. 3 e.g. assault