Significant rise in major criminal offences in NSW over five years

NEW SOUTH WALES has seen a significant increase in four major criminal offences over the past five years, according to a recent report by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

Between March 2019 and March 2024, incidents of domestic assault, non-domestic assault, sexual assault, and motor vehicle theft have risen sharply across the state.

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Domestic assault incidents have climbed by 15.4 percent, averaging an increase of 3.7 percent per year.

This rise was observed in eleven of thirteen regional NSW locations and seven of fifteen Greater Sydney locations.

On the Mid North Coast, the average increase in domestic assaults is 8.2 percent per year, with 1,534 domestic assaults reported in 2023-2024.

Non-domestic assault reports have had a 7.8 percent increase, or 1.9 percent per year on average, with twelve of thirteen regional locations and four of fifteen Greater Sydney locations reporting more incidents.

The Mid North Coast saw an average annual increase of 4.9 percent over the five years to 2024, with 1,153 non-domestic assaults reported in the last twelve months.

Sexual assault reports have surged by 42.1 percent, averaging a 9.2 percent increase per year.

This alarming trend was noted in ten of the thirteen regional locations and all but one Greater Sydney locations, with a 10.7 percent average increase per year on the Mid North Coast over the last five years, totaling 364 incidents in 2023-2024.

Motor vehicle theft incidents have increased by 8.5 percent, averaging a 2.1 percent annual rise, with increases reported in eight of the thirteen regional locations.

This trend is particularly concerning on the Mid North Coast, with the average annual percent change in the five years to 2024 being 8.4 percent, four times the state average.

Jackie Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, expressed concern over the rising crime rates.

“Of the four major criminal offences categories on the rise, sexual assault has shown the largest increase over the past five years,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“This increase is mostly driven by a rise in adult sexual assault victims, up by 62 percent or 1,606 additional incidents.”

Fitzgerald also highlighted the rise in domestic violence-related assaults.

“The fifteen percent increase in reports of domestic violence-related assaults in NSW is due to a rise in reported family violence and an escalation of intimate partner assaults.”

The Bureau noted an increase in incidents on residential premises, up eighteen percent, and school premises, up 46 percent.

Despite these rises, robbery, stealing from motor vehicles, and malicious damage to property have decreased, while other offences remained stable.


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