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Big increase in cocaine arrests

NSW Recorded Crime Statistics quarterly update March 2018

Full report: NSW Recorded Crime Statistics quarterly update March 2018, pdf 1.2Mb

Embargo: 10.30am, Wednesday 6 June 2018

Statewide changes

In the 24 months to March 2018, two of the 17 major offences were increasing, three were trending downward and the remaining 12 offences were stable.

The offences trending upwards were:

  1. Sexual assault (up 7.2%)
  2. Indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences (up 6.3%).

The offences trending down were:

  1. Break and enter – non-dwelling (down 10.0%)
  2. Steal from motor vehicle (down 3.3%)
  3. Fraud (down 3.5%).

Outside the top 17 categories the main change was a big growth in arrests for cocaine use/possession. The number of arrests for cocaine use and/or possession in NSW rose by 46 per cent in the last two years, from 2,134 in the 12 months to March 2017 to 3,114 in the 12 months to March 2018.

Greater Sydney changes

Despite the overall falling levels of crime, some parts of the Greater Sydney Statistical Area exhibited upward trends in some categories of crime. The most noteworthy of these were increases in:

  • Sexual assault in Ryde (up 37.7%), Inner South West (up 32.1%), Sydney City and Inner South (up 28.0%), Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury (up 26.7%) and Blacktown (up 10.2%)
  • Indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences in Sydney City and Inner South (up 49.2%) and Ryde (up 39.1%)
  • Robbery without a weapon in Inner West (up 40.9%) and South West Sydney (up 23.2%). The rate of robbery without a weapon in South West Sydney is now 50 per cent higher than the state average. 

Regional changes

Property crimes were generally down or stable across the state but parts of regional NSW reported increases in personal crimes. 

The Mid North Coast experienced significant increases in five of the 17 major offences, including beak and enter dwelling (up 1.3%), steal from motor vehicle (up 11.8%), steal from retail store (up 30.4%), steal from dwelling (up 14.7%) and fraud (up 8.9%).

Six regional areas reported increases in assault. The Capital Region, the Central West and the Far West/ Orana experienced increases in domestic assault (up 6.4%, 7.1% and 8.2%, respectively).

Coffs Harbour-Grafton, New England /North West and Richmond – Tweed all experienced increases in non-domestic assault (up 16.2%, 5.5% and 4.9%, respectively).

Law enforcement activity

The last 24 months have seen a continued growth in law enforcement activity. Between the 12 months ending March 2017 and the 12 months ending March 2018, the number of persons issued Bail Court Attendance Notices increased by 738 (1.2%) while the number of No-Bail Court Attendance Notices increased by 287 (5.9%).

Proceedings against young people have also increased, with the number of cautions under the Young Offenders Act growing by 640 (9.3%) and the number of young people referred to Youth Justice Conferences growing by 219 (40.7%).

Commenting on the trends, the Executive Director of BOCSAR, Dr Don Weatherburn, said it was impossible to know whether the increase in sexual offences is due to increased offending, increased reporting or both.  The increase in reports of sexual assault, however, is entirely due to an increase in reports by female victims.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 02 8346 1100

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