Author Marilyn Chilvers
Published July 2002
Report Type Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 71
Subject Fraud; Theft / Property crime
Keywords fraud, crime trends, service stations, retail, commercial

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This paper, examines the increase in the incidence of fraud in NSW by detailing:

(1) the premise types associated with fraud incidents,
(2) the nature of specific fraud crime types that contributed significantly to the increase and
(3) the geographic location (NSW region) of fraud incidents.


Fraud is one of four major categories of reported crime in NSW that showed a statistically significant upward trend in the annual crime statistics report for 2001. While frauds are commonly assumed to be associated with the financial sector, closer examination of the data shows that less than one in seven fraud incidents recorded by police in 2001 occurred in financial institutions. The majority of recorded fraud incidents are associated with retail and wholesale premises. In particular, fraud in service station premises accounted for more than half of the increase in total fraud recorded in NSW between 2000 and 2001. The incidence of ‘drive-offs’, whereby offenders fraudulently obtain petrol, increased markedly in the Sydney metropolitan area in 2001. More than one-third of the total Statewide increase in service station fraud between 2000 and 2001 occurred in three Sydney regions: Canterbury – Bankstown, Central Western Sydney, and Blacktown. In 2001, about 20 fraud incidents per week were recorded in service stations within each of these three areas.