Trends in domestic violence-related stalking and intimidation offences in criminal justice system

Link to report summary – Trends in domestic violence-related stalking and intimidation offences in the criminal justice system: 2012 to 2021

A new report released today from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) shows that domestic violence-related stalking/intimidation incidents recorded by the NSW Police Force more than doubled over the last 10 years to 2021, up 110 percent (from 8,120 to 17,063). These incidents typically involved threats, intimidation and verbal abuse (not stalking).
“Stalking/intimidation offences have substantially increased across all parts of the NSW Criminal Justice System”, said Jackie Fitzgerald, Executive Director at BOCSAR. Domestic violence-related stalking/intimidation reports recorded by police have doubled, police legal proceedings increased 164%, court actions increased 64% and prison sentences doubled.
This increase has been keenly felt by Aboriginal people. Legal proceedings against Aboriginal people increased 274 percent from 2012 to 2021. In 2021, Aboriginal people accounted for 28% of court finalisations and 52% of prison sentences.  Of the 272 adults in prison for domestic stalking/intimidation in December 2021, over a third were Aboriginal.  
Commenting on the findings, Jackie Fitzgerald said “the rise in stalking/intimidation charges over the past 10 years appears to reflect a changing appreciation of the seriousness and breadth of domestic and family violence by law enforcement rather than changing behaviours in the community”.
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