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1338.1 - NSW State and Regional Indicators, June 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/07/2009   
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CRIME AND JUSTICE


INTRODUCTION

Individuals benefit from living in a society where criminal justice systems operate effectively to minimise harm to people and property. Crime takes many forms and can have a major impact on the wellbeing of victims, their families and friends, and the wider community. Those most directly affected may suffer financially, physically, psychologically and emotionally, while the fear of crime can affect people, restrict their lives in many ways, reduce levels of trust and impact on social cohesion. There are high financial costs associated with preventing crime, providing justice infrastructure, repairing criminal damage, supporting victims and dealing with offenders.


HOUSEHOLD AND PERSONAL CRIME

There were 190,300 NSW households (7.0% of all households in NSW) which were victims of household crime in 2008 and 232,400 usual NSW residents (4.2% of persons aged 15 years and over) who were victims of personal crime.

VICTIMISATION PREVALENCE RATE(a), NSW
Graph: 8.1 VICTIMISATION PREVALENCE RATE(a), NSW


The victimisation prevalence rate of household crime, which includes break and enter, attempted break and enter and motor vehicle theft, declined from 11% of households in 2001 to 7.0% in 2008. Contributing to this decline in household crime was a reduction in break and enter which decreased from 6.3% of households in 2001 to 3.8% in 2008.

The victimisation prevalence rate of personal crime, which includes robbery, assault and sexual assault, did not significantly differ in 2008 (4.2%) from the 2007, 2006 and 2004 rates (5.0%, 4.2% and 4.5% respectively). The proportion of people who were victims of assault declined from 4.4% in 2007 to 3.6% in 2008. The victimisation rate for both robbery and sexual assault in 2008 remained relatively unchanged from the previous year.

VICTIMS OF ASSAULT

Of the incidents of assault experienced by 196,800 victims in NSW in 2008, males comprised 64% (125,000) of all victims. Males also had a higher assault rate (27%) in the age group 15-24 years however, in the age group 35-44 years, females had a higher assault rate (29%).

Assault rates showed a general decline with increasing age. However, the age group that differed from this pattern was the persons aged 35-44 years.

VICTIMS OF ASSAULT(a), By age and sex, NSW - 2008
Graph: 8.2 VICTIMS OF ASSAULT(a), By age and sex, NSW—2008



ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

In 2008, more than half (55%) of people in NSW did not think there were crime or public nuisance problems in their neighbourhood. This was similar to the 2007 figure (54%).

Between 2000 and 2008, the percentage of persons who did not perceive any problems from crime or public nuisance in their neighbourhoods has risen from 49% to 55%.

The proportion of people who perceived drunkenness to be a problem increased from 14% in 2000 to 20% in 2008. Over the same period of time, the proportion of people who perceived car theft to be a problem decreased from 22% in 2000 to 13% in 2008.

The most commonly identified problems in 2008 were vandalism/graffiti/damage to property (26%) and dangerous/noisy driving (25%), followed by housebreaking/burglaries/theft from homes (21%), louts/youth gangs and drunkenness (both 20%).

NEIGHBOURHOOD PROBLEMS(a), NSW - 2008
Graph: 8.3 NEIGHBOURHOOD PROBLEMS(a), NSW—2008


REOFFENDING

One commonly used measure of reoffending is whether a person convicted of an offence is subsequently reconvicted of another offence within 2 years. Of those offenders who were convicted in 2005, 28% of adult offenders and 54% of juvenile offenders (persons aged 10-17 years) were reconvicted within 2 years.

For those convicted in 2005, higher proportions of reoffending were found for young persons aged 10-13 years (69%) and 14-17 years (53%) than for older age groups (35-44 years, 27% and 45 years and over, 15%). Reoffending was also higher for Indigenous youths (74%) and Indigenous adults (53%).

Juvenile offenders in 2005 were more likely to be reconvicted within 24 months (54%) than juvenile offenders in 2000 (51%).

REOFFENDERS, Within 24 months of a previous conviction(a)(b), NSW
Graph: 8.4 REOFFENDERS, Within 24 months of a previous conviction(a)(b), NSW


APPREHENDED VIOLENCE ORDERS GRANTED

In NSW, 28,174 Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs) were granted during 2007. This is a rate of 409.0 orders per 100,000 population. Of the AVOs granted in NSW during 2007, 22,047 were Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (320.0 per 100,000 population) and 6,127 were Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (88.9 per 100,000 population).

The highest number of AVOs were granted in the following local government areas (LGAs):
  • Blacktown with 1,558 (547.3 per 100,000 population)
  • Campbelltown with 1,141 (773.8 per 100,000 population)
  • Wollongong with 885 (452.1 per 100,000 population)
  • Newcastle with 792 (526.7 per 100,000 population).


CRIMINAL INCIDENTS RECORDED BY POLICE

Homicide and related offences - NSW recorded a decrease of 12.8% for homicide and related offences from 164 in 2006 to 143 in 2007.

Motor vehicle theft - Recorded incidents of motor vehicle theft in NSW decreased by 4.9% from 28,304 in 2006 to 26,921 in 2007. In 2007, the LGA of Blacktown recorded 1,642 incidents of motor vehicles theft followed by Sydney with 1,314, Bankstown with 1,221 and Newcastle with 948.

Unlawful entry with intent - Recorded incidents of unlawful entry with intent in NSW decreased by 3.8% from 74,844 in 2006 to 72,021 in 2007. In 2007 the LGAs with the highest number of unlawful entries with intent were Sydney (3,608 incidents), followed by Blacktown (3,174), Newcastle (2,899) and Campbelltown (1,925).

Robbery - Incidents of robbery in NSW decreased from 7,935 in 2006 to 7,774 in 2007. In both years approximately 62% of recorded incidents were robbery without a weapon, 30% were robbery with a weapon other than a firearm and the remainder were robbery with a firearm. The LGA of Sydney recorded the highest number of incidents for robbery with 1,531 in 2007, followed by Blacktown with 442, Parramatta with 358 and Bankstown with 316.

Illicit drug offences - NSW recorded an increase of 4.0% for illicit drug offences from 19,345 in 2006 to 20,117 in 2007. In 2007, the LGA of Sydney recorded 2,939 illicit drug offences followed by Blacktown with 809, Fairfield with 660 and Lismore with 606.

COURT APPEARANCES FOR JUVENILES, BY PRINCIPAL OFFENCE

There were 6,563 juveniles aged 10 to 17 years who were found guilty in NSW courts in 2007, an increase of 108 juveniles compared to the 6,455 recorded in 2006. The five most common principal offences in 2007 were:
  • Road traffic and motor vehicle regulatory offences (1,320)
  • Theft and related offences (979)
  • Acts intended to cause injury (934)
  • Public order offences (641)
  • Unlawful entry with intent/Burglary; break and enter (640).

Of the total of 6,563 juveniles who were found guilty in NSW courts in 2007, the LGAs which recorded the highest number of juvenile offenders were:
  • Blacktown (468)
  • Campbelltown (221)
  • Penrith (205)
  • Wollongong (177).

DATA SOURCES

ABS National Crime and Safety Survey (cat. no. 4509.0)

Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, NSW Criminal Courts Statistics, 2006

Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Recorded Crime Statistics Database

Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Reoffending Database

Community Preparedness for Emergencies, NSW, 2003 (cat. no. 4818.1)

Corrective Services, Australia (cat. no. 4512.0)

Crime and Safety, Australia (cat. no. 4509.0)

Crime and Safety, New South Wales (cat. no. 4509.1)

Household Preparedness for Emergencies: NSW, VIC, QLD and ACT, 2007 (cat. no. 4818.0.55.001)

Steering Committee for the Review of Government Services Provision (SCRGSP) 2008, Report on Government Services, Productivity Commission Canberra

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