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NSW recorded crime statistics quarterly updates: March 2009


Clickherefor the full report (pdf, 145Kb)

Release date: 10 June 2009, 9am

Statewide trends

In the 24 months to March 2009, one major crime type rose, eight fell and eight remained stable.

Fraud rose by 10.1 per cent but the strength of the upward trend in fraud has eased this quarter, down from 15.7 per cent in the 24 months to December 2008.

The main cause of the upward trend in fraud remains the steep rise in petrol prices through 2007/08 and the subsequent frauds occurring at service stations. With more stable petrol prices we may see further easing in the fraud trend in the next quarterly report.

The falls were in the following categories:

  • Robbery without a weapon (down 15.9%)
  • Robbery with a firearm (down 32.8%)
  • Robbery with a weapon not a firearm (down 19.9%)
  • Break and enter - dwelling (down 4.8%)
  • Break and enter - non-dwelling (down 9.6%)
  • Motor vehicle theft (down 11.1%)
  • Steal from motor vehicle (down 13.4%)
  • Steal from person (down 8.7%).

Outside the 17 major crime categories, three were trending downward, 10 were trending upward and 30 were stable (n.b. two had insufficient recorded criminal incidents for a reliable trend test to be performed).

The 10 offences trending upward were:

  • Possession/use of cocaine (up 63.3%)
  • Possession/use of cannabis (up 18.3%)
  • Possession/use of ecstasy (up 72.3%)
  • Possession/use of other drugs (up 29.4%)
  • Cultivating cannabis (up 2.6%)
  • Other drug offences (up 8.8%)
  • Offensive conduct (up 11.1%)
  • Offensive language (up 9.6%),
  • Breach bail conditions (up 17.8%)
  • Resist or hinder officer (up 3.1%)

Increases in the drug offence categories should be treated with caution, as other more reliable indicators of drug use (e.g. hospital admissions, survey data) show no increase in the incidence of drug use over the last two years. The categories of offensive conduct and language, breach bail and resist or hinder officer are also strongly affected by policing activity.

Although the general category of prohibited weapons offences did not rise, the number of incidents involving the discharge of a firearm into premises rose by 81.3 per cent, from 64 in the 12-month period to March 2008, compared with 116 in the 12-month period to March 2009. The largest numbers of offences occurred in the Fairfield-Liverpool and Central Western Sydney Statistical Subdivisions.

Regional trends

The best performing area in NSW was the Inner Sydney Subdivision, which had eight categories of crime falling and none rising. The worst performing areas were the Canterbury-Bankstown and Central Northern Sydney Statistical Subdivisions, both of which had three categories of crime rising.

Fraud increased in 4 of the 14 Subdivisions within Sydney: Outer South Western Sydney (up 22.9%), Outer Western Sydney (up 13.0%), Lower Northern Sydney (up 29.7%) and Central Northern Sydney (up 14.1%).

Sexual assault increased in the Illawarra Statistical Division (up 25.2%) and Canterbury-Bankstown Sydney Statistical Subdivision (up 42.2%).

Indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences increased in one Statistical Division, South Eastern (up 10.9%) and four of the 14 Sydney Statistical Divisions: Inner Western Sydney (up 46.1%), Central Northern Sydney (up 41.4%), Fairfield-Liverpool (up 22.0%) and Canterbury-Bankstown (up 15.1%).


Commenting on the trends, the Director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that they reflected a national trend toward lower crime rates that has been going on since 2000.

Since that time the national homicide rate has dropped by 38 per cent, the national robbery rate has dropped by 37 per cent, the national burglary rate has dropped by 50 per cent and the national motor vehicle theft rate has dropped by 56 per cent.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn. Ph. 9231-9190, 0419-494-408. Copies of the report:

Link to March 2009 quarterly report