Violence on Sydney's streets, assaults rise 92%
Youth arrested handcuffed
The Shadow Minister for Police Mike Gallacher believes the new data showing long-term trends in violent crime says we have a problem. The incident rate per 100,000 population with regard to violent offences shows an increase in the NSW assault rate of 92 per cent since 1990 and an increase in the rate of sexual assaults by 124 per cent.
“It’s simply not good enough to greet every announcement by BOCSAR with self congratulatory back slapping because reported property crime remains stable. What we have is a State Labor Government blinkered to the causes of crime in our communities," said Mike Gallacher, Shadow Minister for Police.
“One of the biggest challenges facing law enforcement is alcohol related anti-social behaviour. When I’m talking to frontline Police, they say it is the number one cause of violence on our streets.
“That sexual assaults have increased so dramatically over the last 20 years is a frightening statistic, and one which the State Labor Government must initiate a widespread investigation into," said Mr Gallacher
NSW Police Association, Nurses and Emergency workers have recently joined forces to demand that the NSW Government do something about the growing rates of violence related to alcohol. Their campaign, Last Drinks, paints a disturbing trend of assaults, injuries and abuse related to late night drinking. Police, doctors, nurses and emergency services personnel are calling for restrictions on late night drinking and the serving of "shots" to come into place. A trial of restrictions on late night drinking in Newcastle reduced assaults after dark by 29%. Despite the success of the trial the NSW Government has so far declined to implement the program across the State.
Liberal Minister for Planning, Brad Hazzard said on Friday, speaking outside the Coogee Bay Hotel, that he believed that lockouts at a sensible time were an appropriate policy to deal with anti-social behaviour related to alcohol. Mr Hazzard said he felt the time of the lock-out should be determined in consultation with the local community.
The Member for Maroubra, Minister for Police Michael Daley, sent out his own press release today saying that the same figures showed that crime was falling or stable in all 17 major crime categories over a 24 month trend period.
“The data also shows that property crime has halved over the past decade,” said Minister Daley.
Mr Daley said that the two-year trend statistics show that in the two years to December 2009 across NSW, eight of the 17 offence categories showed a downward trend. Seven of these were stealing or theft categories, the eighth being fraud, which was down 10.7%.
“These crime rates are falling because we are locking up the crooks who commit crime. We target the repeat offenders, we target the hot spots and we work with local communities on crime prevention,” said NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione.
Mr Daley said having an independent body to analyse crime statistics gives the community the information they deserve and need.
“If there are types of crime in particular areas trending upwards, we look at strategies to attack that area and bring that crime type down,” Mr Daley said.
“However, it also gives local police the information they need to put in place local solutions for local problems – and that’s a big reason for the impressive results we’ve seen today,” he said. Neither Minister Daley or Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione mentioned the assault statistics.
So, it’s one set of statistics and two very different outlooks and what the statistics show.