4509.1 - Crime and Safety, New South Wales, Apr 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/12/2003   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All



A total of 235,700 households (9.4% of all households in NSW) were victims of household crime in the 12 months to April 2003. The household victimisation rate decreased between 2001 and 2003 for all the selected household crimes: break and enter (6.3% down to 5.1%); attempted break and enter (4.4% down to 3.9%); and motor vehicle theft (2.4% down to 1.5%).

The household victimisation rate for Sydney (9.9%) was higher than for the Balance of NSW (8.5%). Victimisation rates also varied according to household type. Victimisation rates ranged from a high of 12.9% for one parent households down to 7.9% for couple only households.

Graph - Victimisation rates for household crime - 2001 and 2003


There were 232,300 usual residents of NSW who were victims of personal crime in the 12 months to April 2003, a victimisation rate of 4.5%. This victimisation rate was lower than that recorded 24 months earlier (5.1%). The victimisation rate for robbery (0.8%) was slightly lower than that reported in 2001 (1.0%) but this decrease was not statistically significant. The victimisation rate for assault (3.5%) was lower than for the same period in 2001 (4.2%).

Males were more likely to be victims of crime than females. There were 137,400 male victims, a victimisation rate of 5.3%, and 94,800 female victims, a victimisation rate of 3.6%. Victimisation rates for personal crime varied according to age. The highest victimisation rate for persons was amongst 15-24 year olds (9.1%).

Graph - Victims of personal crime(a), Age and sex - 2003

Of the 184,700 victims of assault, just over half (51%) stated that they knew their offender. This was similar to the 51% of people who reported that they knew their offender in 2001.

The victimisation rate for unemployed people was 6.5% compared to 5.0% for employed persons and 3.3% for those persons who were not in the labour force.

When comparing Sydney with the Balance of NSW, the 2003 victimisation rates for personal crime were similar. Sydney had a victimisation rate of 4.4%, while the victimisation rate for the Balance of NSW was 4.5%. The victimisation rate for Sydney decreased in 2003 from 5.5%, recorded in 2001. The victimisation rates for the Balance of NSW were similar for the two periods.


Of those households which experienced household crime, 28% were victims on more than one occasion within the 12 month reference period. The multiple victimisation rate was highest for victims of attempted break and enter (32%). Of those persons who were victims of personal crime, 41% experienced more than one incident in the 12 month reference period and the multiple victimisation rate was highest for victims of assault (44%).


Reporting of incidents to the police varied according to the type of offence. For household crime, the proportion of victims reporting the most recent incident to police was considerably higher for break and enter (72%) than for attempted break and enter (28%). In contrast, an estimated 94% of motor vehicle theft victims reported the most recent incident to police. For each of the individual household offences, the proportions reporting the most recent incident to the police were similar to 2001.

For personal crime, the most recent incident was reported to police by 53% of robbery victims and 39% of assault victims. The rate of reporting assaults to the police has increased from 30% in 2001. Although the reporting rate for robbery has increased compared to 2001 (39%), this increase is not statistically significant.


An estimated 50% of people did not think there were any crime or public nuisance problems in their neighbourhood. This percentage has increased since 2001 (45%). The main perceived crime or public nuisance problem was housebreaking/burglaries/theft from homes, with 15% of people identifying this as the main problem. Other problems identified included dangerous/ noisy driving (9%), vandalism/graffiti/damage to property (8%) and louts/youth gangs (5%).