4519.0 - Recorded Crime - Offenders, 2016-17  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/02/2018   
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The number of offenders proceeded against by police in New South Wales increased by less than 1% (380 offenders) from 128,397 offenders in 2015–16 to 128,777 in 2016–17. (Table 6)


In 2016–17 the four most common principal offences were:
  • Theft (29% or 37,461 offenders)
  • Acts intended to cause injury (23% or 29,496 offenders)
  • Public order offences (14% or 17,452 offenders)
  • Illicit drug offences (14% or 17,386 offenders) (Table 6)

These four offences have consistently been the most common principal offences for New South Wales offenders since the beginning of the time series in 2008–09. (Table 7)

Graph Image for OFFENDERS, Selected principal offence, New South Wales

Footnote(s): (a) For New South Wales, Division 02 may be overstated and Division 05 understated (see Explanatory Notes paragraph 51).

Source(s): Recorded Crime - Offenders

The largest contributor to the increase in offenders was for the principal offence of Theft, up 8% or 2,802 offenders since 2015–16, from 34,659 to 37,461 offenders. This was primarily due to Fare evasion offences, up 11% or 2,527 offenders; in other states and territories enforcing this offence is not necessarily the responsibility of the police.

By contrast, the highest decrease in offender numbers was for the offence division of Offences against justice, down 13% or 825 offenders since 2015–16. (Table 6)


Between 2015–16 and 2016–17, the number of female offenders increased by 4% (1,173 offenders), due primarily to increases in the principal offences of Theft (up 12% or 1,263 female offenders) and Acts intended to cause injury (up 6% or 358 female offenders).

By contrast, over the same period the number of male offenders decreased by less than 1% or 782 offenders.

Since the beginning of the time-series in 2008–09, males have consistently made up over three-quarters of offenders in New South Wales. (Table 7)


There were 20,054 youth offenders in New South Wales in 2016–17. Just over half of these (54% or 10,832 offenders) had a principal offence of Theft.

Youth offenders made up 16% of all offenders in New South Wales, the equal highest proportion with Western Australia for any of the states and territories. (Table 20)


Between 2015–16 and 2016–17, the number of police proceedings in New South Wales increased by 7% (15,498 proceedings), the highest increase for the selected state or territories for which data are available. The next highest increase was the Northern Territory (up 2% or 414 proceedings) and Tasmania (up 2% or 377 proceedings). (Tables 26 to 32)

The increase was almost entirely due to an 11% increase in non-court proceedings (14,902 proceedings). Nearly two thirds of non-court proceedings (64% or 92,863 proceedings) were for Theft. (Table 26)

Graph Image for POLICE PROCEEDINGS, Method of proceeding, New South Wales

Source(s): Recorded Crime - Offenders