Release date: 8 September 2011
New South Wales has entered its 11th straight year of stable or falling property crime rates according to the latest quarterly crime report released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
The latest report covers the 24 months from July 2009 to June 2011. Over this period, 14 of the 17 major offences were stable and three were trending downwards. The offences trending downwards were:
- Robbery without a weapon (down 16.3%)
- Motor vehicle theft (down 9.8%) and
- Malicious damage to property (down 6.8%).
Eight statistical divisions (SDs) showed upward trends in at least one offence. They were as follows:
- Hunter: Indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences (up 22.9%), steal from motor vehicle (up 19.2%) and fraud (up 9.6%)
- Illawarra: Break and enter non-dwelling (up 17.5%) and steal from motor vehicle (up 14.6%)
- Northern: Indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences (up 13.4%)
- North Western: Indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences (up 29.3%)
- Central West: Fraud (up 28.5%)
- Murrumbidgee: Steal from motor vehicle (up 14.0%)
- Murray: Sexual assault (up 32.5%) and
- Far West: Fraud (up 78.3%).
Ten from sixteen metropolitan statistical subdivisions (SSDs) showed upward trends in at least one offence. They were as follows:
- Inner Sydney: Steal from retail store (up 15.8%)
- Eastern Suburbs: Steal from motor vehicle (up 12.5%)
- Fairfield-Liverpool: Steal from retail store (up 17.4%) and steal from dwelling (up 16.5%)
- Outer South Western Sydney: Steal from retail store (up 16.2%)
- Inner Western Sydney: Steal from retail store (up 16.7%)
- Outer Western Sydney: Assault – domestic violence related (up 17.6%)
- Blacktown: Steal from motor vehicle (up 22.6%)
- Central Coast: Break and enter dwelling (up 10.1%) and fraud (up 15.7%)
- Newcastle: Indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences (up 23.5%), steal from motor vehicle (up 19.7%) and fraud (up 12.1%) and
- Wollongong: Break and enter non-dwelling (up 26.0%) and steal from motor vehicle (up 17.8%).
The best performing LGAs were Tweed and Armidale Dumaresq, with five and four significant downward trends, respectively, from the 17 major offences. Two LGAs had upward trends for three offences. These were the Orange, and Wagga Wagga regional LGAs.
NSW trends in the expanded list of 62 offences
Among the expanded list of 62 offences for the 24 months to June 2011, 10 showed an upward trend at the State level. They were:
- Stock theft (up 31.7%)
- Possession and/or use of narcotics (up 9.7%)
- Possession and/or use of cannabis (up 27.2%)
- Possession and/or use of amphetamines (up 40.2%)
- Possession and/or use of other drugs (up 28.4%)
- Dealing, trafficking in cannabis (up 17.4%)
- Dealing, trafficking in amphetamines (up 64.0%)
- Other drug offences (up 10.0%)
- Breach bail conditions (up 14.6%) and
- Transport regulatory offences (up 23.6%).
Comments on trends
Commenting on the trends, the director of the Bureau, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that the significant upward trends seem to be largely confined to detected crime as opposed to reported crime. It is difficult in such cases to determine whether the recorded increase in crime is reflective of an increase in the actual incidence of crime, an increase in law enforcement activity, or both.
Number plates remain the most frequently stolen item from vehicles and are up 16.0 per cent in the 12 months to June 2011, compared to the previous 12 months. The upward trends for steal from motor vehicle reported this quarter are largely due to a surge in number plate theft. The upward trends in fraud in the Hunter SD, Central Coast SSD and Newcastle SSD are most likely the result of increases in petrol theft.
Malicious damage to property continues to show a consistent statewide downward trend (down 6.8%) with strong falls across both regional and metropolitan areas. Nine SDs, 12 Metropolitan SSDs and 39 LGAs recorded a significant downtrend for this offence. The fall is particularly pronounced between 3PM and 3AM which suggests that it might be due to a reduction in night-time alcohol abuse.
Consistent with this interpretation, assault on licensed premises (down 6.9% across all licensed premises types) has continued to show a downward trend.
Despite recent shooting incidents, the two weapons offences of ‘unlawfully discharge firearm’ and ‘discharge firearm into premises’ were stable over the 24 months to June 2011 for NSW.
More than 55 per cent of ‘discharge firearm into premises’ incidents in the year to June 2011 were recorded in the three Sydney SSDs of Central Western Sydney, Canterbury-Bankstown and Fairfield-Liverpool.
Over the year to June 2011, NSW recorded an average of 6.75 incidents per month for ‘discharge firearm into premises’ which was very similar to the 6.9 incidents per month reported in the previous quarter.
Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 9231-9190
Copies of the report: www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au