Author Clare Ringland, Stewart Boiteux and Suzanne Poynton
Published September 2022
Report Type Bureau Brief No. BB163
Subject Victims; Offenders; Vandalism and property damage; Disability
Keywords disability, victims, offenders, property crime, violence

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To describe rates of victimisation and offending for people with disability in New South Wales (NSW), compared with the total NSW population.


Data were linked for a cohort of people in contact with the NSW criminal justice system and/or specific disability support services between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2018. These disability support services included the National Disability Insurance Scheme, NSW funded Disability Services and the Disability Support Pension. Individuals with a contact with any of these support services within the 10-year study period were included in the “disability cohort”. Age and sex standardised rates of victimisation and offending for the disability cohort (aged 10–64 years), were compared with rates of contact for the total NSW population. Rates were examined overall, as well as for specific types of offences (e.g., violent and property). Age-specific rates were also examined, separately for males and females. 


Trends in victimisation and offending rates for the disability cohort over the 10-year period were generally consistent with the total NSW population. Relative to the total population, rates of victimisation and offending, were higher in the disability cohort for all offence types. Individuals in the disability cohort were more than twice as likely to be victims of violent and domestic violence related crime and were around three times as likely to have committed violent and property offences, compared with the total population. For most offence types, across most age groups, the disability cohort had higher rates of victimisation and offending.


People with disability have a much higher rate of contact with the NSW criminal justice system as both victims of crime and as offenders compared with the total NSW population.