Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

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NSW Recorded Crime Statistics quarterly update December 2021

Release date: Thursday 17 March 2022

Link to report summary:

Recorded crime statistics released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) show major decreases in crime during both COVID-19 lockdowns.  

This fact, combined with previous long-term declines, means many crimes are at historic lows. 

In 2021, the rate of the following offences was at the lowest level since BOCSAR crime records commenced 27 years ago in 1995: murder, robbery, burglary, car theft, stealing offences and malicious damage to property.  

Property offences fell sharply during both lockdowns. These crimes remain well below pre-pandemic levels, even after mobility restrictions have been lifted. 

Violent crime, by comparison, showed a different pattern during the pandemic. Counts of both sex offences and non-domestic assault, were temporarily low during both lockdowns. However, both promptly returned to pre-pandemic levels once restrictions were eased.

Commenting on the findings, Jackie Fitzgerald, Executive Director at BOCSAR, said it was unsurprising that the huge social upheaval caused by the lockdowns had a flow on effect to criminal activity.  “What was unexpected is that the downward trend was so consistent across offences.  For those offences that remained low in December 2021, it will be interesting to observe how long it takes for crime rates to return to pre-pandemic levels as NSW residents resume regular activities.”

Further enquiries: Jackie Fitzgerald, Executive Director, 0423 139 687

Email: bcsr@justice.nsw.gov.au

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