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BB143

Author Lily Trimboli
Published October 2019
Report Type Bureau Brief No. 143
Subject Assault; Offenders; Robbery; Theft / Property crime; Weapons
Keywords Long-term crime trends, age-specific rates of offending, break and enter offences, motor vehicle theft, serious non-domestic assault, robbery offences

Summary

Aim

To describe the trends in age-specific rates of offending in NSW for break and enter, motor vehicle theft, robbery and serious non-domestic assault from 1995 to 2018.

Abstract

In broad terms, the pattern of offending for break and enter, motor vehicle theft, robbery and serious non-domestic assault is one of stability or decline for most age categories. This applies to both the short- and the long-term trends, and to trends in both Greater Sydney and NSW regional areas. The largest declines have been observed for offenders aged between 15 and 20 years.

Method

Age-specific offending rates are compared over time for NSW as a whole, Greater Sydney and regional NSW. Kendall’s trend test was used to test for a significant upward or downward trend in the number of offenders proceeded against. These tests examined changes over the last five and 10 years of available data, and for NSW as a whole, the last 20 years.

Results

Over the past five and 10 years, the age-specific rates of break and enter offences, motor vehicle theft, robbery and serious non-domestic assault have either remained stable or trended downward for most age categories in NSW as a whole, Greater Sydney and regional NSW. The largest reductions were observed among offenders aged 15 to 20 years. In addition, the longer 20-year NSW trend for these four offences was either down or stable for almost all age categories. There are two key exceptions to this overall pattern. Firstly, break and enter offending increased over the last five years amongst those aged 35 years or more in Greater Sydney and NSW (on average, up by 5.0% and 3.0% each year, respectively). Secondly, the rate of motor vehicle theft increased in regional NSW (and, as a result, across NSW) over the last 10 years for those aged 25 to 29 years, 30 to 34 years and 35 years or more (on average, up by 6.8%, 3.9% and 3.8% each year, respectively).