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BB50

Author Lily Trimboli
Published August 2010
Report Type Bureau Brief No. 50
Subject Assault; Policing
Keywords school, assaults, police, trends

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Summary

Aim

To examine the characteristics of, and trends in, police-recorded assault incidents involving school-aged children on school premises in NSW.

Method

The sample consisted of all incidents of assault recorded by NSW police officers as having occurred on school premises between 2005 and 2009. The police-recorded free-text narratives of a random sample of 300 incidents which occurred in 2009 were examined to determine the type of victim and offender involved and the location on the school premises where the incident occurred.

Results

Over the five years, there was a statistically significant upward trend in the rate of recorded assault incidents between school-aged children on government school premises during school hours. The typical assault occurred in the afternoon in a government secondary school, involved two students of the same gender (generally boys), aged between 13 and 15 years, involved no weapon and no injury or only minor injuries to the victim. Most offenders were not charged with an offence. The most common locations for incidents were either the playground/oval or school corridors/staircases/toilet blocks/gymnasium.

Conclusion

While the upward trend in assaults on school premises may be due to an actual increase in assaults, there is also reason to believe that, in recent years, schools have been much more likely to report assaults to police.

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