In the 24 months to March 2019, the number of murders in NSW jumped by 39.6 per cent, the number of recorded domestic assaults increased by six per cent and the number of indecent assaults and acts of indecency rose by 5.8 per cent. The remaining 14 categories of crime remained stable.
Greater Sydney Statistical Area
Several areas of Sydney have seen increases in recorded crime. The most noteworthy changes in property crime were a 57.3% increase in break and enter (non-dwelling) in Baulkham Hills & Hawkesbury, a 29.9% increase in break and enter (non-dwelling) in the Outer West and Blue Mountains and a 25.1% increase in stealing from a retail store in the Northern Beaches.
Reports of domestic assault increased in a number of areas including the Northern Beaches (up 19.4%), South West Sydney (up 12.7%), Blacktown (up 10.7%) and the Outer South West (up 7.0%). A number of areas also reported increases in indecent assault, including Baulkham Hills & Hawkesbury (up 44.7%), Sutherland (up 33.9%) and Outer South West Sydney (up 21.2%).
Sutherland also experienced significant decreases break and enter (dwelling) (down 22.2%), break and enter (non-dwelling) (down 32.8%) and stealing from a motor vehicle (down 28.6%)
The main change in regional NSW was that seven of the 13 statistical areas showed an increase in recorded rates of domestic assault, ranging from a 5.1% increase in New England and the North West to a 26.8% increase in the Far West and Orana. The Far West and Orana also experienced significant increases in motor vehicle theft (up 19.7%), stealing from a dwelling (up 10.2%) and fraud (up 21.5%)
Commenting on the trends, the Executive Director of BOCSAR, Dr Don Weatherburn, said that the jump in murder is not the start of an upward trend.
“In the 12 months to March 2018, we had an unusually small number of murders (53). The number last year (74) is closer to what we’ve experienced over the last five years. Ten years ago we were experiencing between 80 or 90 murders a year.”
“The rise in DV assault is also likely to be a case of increased reporting rather than increased domestic violence. Domestic assaults occasioning grievous bodily harm (GBH) are much more reliably reported than less serious forms of assault. Domestic assaults occasioning GBH have remained stable over the past two years. Since 2001, they have come down by 28 per cent.”