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Terrorism-related charges are uncommon in NSW Criminal Courts

Release date: 10.30am Thursday, 4 February 2021

Link to report summary

Terrorism-related charges are relatively uncommon in NSW Criminal Courts according to a report released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR).

From July 2002 to May 2020, 72 terrorism offences were proven in NSW criminal courts, involving a total of 48 offenders. The most common offence categories were terrorism planning offences (39%), breaches of control and supervision orders (21%), offences relating to the collection, manufacture or possession of terrorism items (18%) and terrorism financing offences (7%). The majority of these offences relate to legislation that has enabled proactive policing and prevention of terrorism-related activities, with most terrorism offences occuring after the Federal Government raised the National Terrorism Threat Advisory System threat level from “Possible” to “Probable” in 2014.

Almost all offenders convicted of terrorism offences received a prison sentence (94%), with a smaller proportion receiving a community-based order (i.e. community correction order with supervision, intensive correction order, or bond without supervision).

Terrorism offenders are broadly similar to each other in terms of their observed demographic characteristics.  Most terrorism offenders are:  non-Aboriginal, male, aged between 18 and 30 years, from an area of socioeconomic disadvantage and reside in a major city.  Over half of all terrorism offenders had at least one prior court appearance with a proven conviction, and one quarter had previously received a prison penalty.  Slightly less than half had only ever come into contact with the criminal justice system for terrorism offences, while the rest had experience with other crime types.

Further enquiries: Jackie Fitzgerald, Executive Director 0423 139 687

Email: bcsr@justice.nsw.gov.au

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