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Release Date: 10:30am Thursday 1 October 2020
Link to report summary
A legislative change allowing a selection of break and enter offences to be heard in the Local Court has delivered a reduction in court delay, a reduction in District Court workload and a reduction in imprisonment according to a new evaluation released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR).
Between 2012 and 2016 NSW experienced large increases in District Court workload and District Court delay. Over this period, trial committals increased by 35% and time from charge to trial finalisation increased 39% to 719 days. One of the reforms implemented to respond to this problem was the Table Offences Reform.
The first wave of the Table Offences Reform reclassified four strictly-indictable break and enter offences allowing them to be resolved in the Local Court. Prior to the reform, these offences could only be heard in the Higher Courts.
The reform has been successful in meeting its objectives. In the 2 years after the introduction of the reform:
An unintended consequence of the reform has been a significant reduction in custodial penalties:
Commenting on the findings, BOCSAR Executive Director, Jackie Fitzgerald, said the change in imprisonment appears to be influenced by both a reduction in time spent on remand and different sentencing practices in the Local Court. "In terms of the main findings, the effectiveness of the Table Offences Reform in reducing District Court delay and demand is particularly impressive given the simplicity of the reform."
Further enquiries: Jackie Fitzgerald, Executive Director 0423 139 687 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au