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NSW Recorded Crime Statistics First quarter, 2008
Release date: 12 June 2008
NSW trends in the 17 Major Offences (page 3 of the report)
- In the 24 months to March 2008 none of the 17 major offence categories were trending upward, two were trending downward and the remaining 15 were stable. The two offences showing significant downward trends were break and enter - non-dwelling (down 8.6%) and motor vehicle theft (down 5.3%).
- In the 60 months (five years) to March 2008 two of the 17 major offences were trending upward, nine were trending downward and the remaining six were stable.
NSW trends in the expanded list of 61 offences (page 4 of the report)
- In the 24 months to March 2008, 12 of the expanded list of 61 offences were trending upward, three were trending downward and for the remainder, 44 were stable and two had insufficient recorded criminal incidents for a reliable trend test to be performed.
- The 12 offences trending upward were harassment (up 4.3%), possession of narcotics (up 29.1%), possession of ecstasy (up 16.8%), possession of other drugs’ (up 9.5%), cultivating cannabis (up 3.2%), trespass (up 2.6%), offensive conduct (up 25.7%), offensive language (up 11.8%), liquor offences (up 13.4%), breach bail conditions (up 28.2%), fail to appear (up 34.1%) and resist or hinder officer (up 9.3%).
- The three offences showing significant downward trends were break and enter - non-dwelling (down 8.6%), motor vehicle theft (down 5.3%) (as mentioned above) and arson (down 11.9%). These downward trends all reflect favourable changes in crime.
The increases in liquor offences, breach bail condition, fail to appear and resist or hinder officerare likely to reflect increased policing activity rather than increased crime. It should be noted however, that there is a close relationship between possession/use of narcotics and emergency department admissions for narcotics overdose. The upward trend in narcotics is therefore likely to reflect an increase in narcotic use.
Regional trends in the 17 Major Offences (pages 6 and 7 of the report)
Even though no offences were trending upwards at the State level there were some regional increases, as shown in Table 1 and 2 of the report. Domestic and non-domestic assault and steal from motor vehicle showed the most regional upward trends.
- In the 24 months to March 2008, Assault – non-domestic increased in three Statistical Divisions: Sydney (up 3.3%), Mid-North Coast (up 4.5%) and Northern NSW (up 2.1%). Within the Sydney Statistical Division it increased in four Statistical Subdivisions: Inner Sydney (up 8.3%), Outer Western Sydney (up 3.1%) and Northern Beaches (up 9.5%). No Statistical Divisions or Sydney Statistical Subdivisions showed decreases in this offence.
- In the 24 months to March 2008, Assault – domestic increased in four Subdivisions within Sydney: Eastern Suburbs (up 18.1%), Outer Western Sydney (up 6.4%), Lower Northern Sydney (up 20.8%) and Gosford-Wyong (up 1.9%). No Statistical Divisions or Sydney Statistical Subdivisions showed decreases in this offence. It is, however, worth noting that this report shows fewer regional increases for this offence. In the equivalent report released last year (March 2007) we reported an upward trend in domestic violence related assault at the State level (up 1.2%), in four Statistical Divisions and in 18 LGAs. The offence is now stable at the State and Statistical Division levels and only nine LGAs are showing an upward trend.
Other noteworthy regional results include:
- In the 24 months to March 2008, Murray Statistical Division showed large increases in break and enter – dwelling (up 18% from 816 to 963 incidents) and motor vehicle theft (up 36.6% from 314 to 429 incidents).
- Central West Statistical Division showed a 54.3% increase in unarmed robbery. This result, however, was based on small numbers with the number increasing from 35 to 54 incidents.
- Lower Northern Sydney showed increases in three of the 17 major offences: domestic assault (up 20.8%), steal from motor vehicle (up 23.5%) and steal from retail store (up 27.2%).
Steal from motor vehicle
- The past two quarterly reports have shown increases in steal from a motor vehicle at the State level. In the current report this offence is stable over the 24 months to March 2008. Over the same period, however, steal from a motor vehicle continued to increase in the Sydney Statistical Division (up 8.5%) and in five Sydney Statistical Subdivisions: St George-Sutherland (up 12.2%), Inner Western Sydney (up 35.8%), Central Western Sydney (up 16.9%), Lower Northern Sydney (up 23.5%) and Central Northern Sydney (up 16.6%).
- The large increases in this offence previously reported in the Inner Sydney SSD have stabilized.
Malicious damage to property
- In the 24 months to March 2007, malicious damage to property was stable at the State level but showed numerous regional increases. At that time BOCSAR reported significant upward trends in five Statistical Divisions, three Sydney SSDs and 24 LGAs in this offence.
- In the 24 months to March 2008 this situation improved and the offence remains stable at the State level and stable at the Statistical Division and Sydney SSD levels. Only 12 LGAs are showing an upward trend.
Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 9231-9190