March quarter results released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) this week (June 2) show an increase in recorded crime in the Hills and Hawkesbury Local Government Areas.

A report from the Bureau said one of the biggest changes in property crime was a 57.3% increase in break and enter (non-dwelling) in Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury. In the 24 months to March 2020, the number of recorded domestic assaults were up by 38.7% in Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury.

Executive Director of BOCSAR, Dr Don Weatherburn, said: “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.”

The figures also show that in the 24 months leading up to March 2020 that violent crime in the Hills and Hawkesbury area was up by 18 per cent and property offences up by 14.3 per cent. In The Hills there were also recorded increases in figures for steal from person and fraud.

The concern is that the figures don’t cover the period of time that the COVID-19 lockdown started. Executive Director of BOCSAR, Jackie Fitzgerald, said: “We know that the social distancing measures which commenced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on the NSW Criminal Justice System.

“The full extent of this impact will be analysed in a forthcoming BOCSAR publication.”

Violent offences include:
murder, assault – domestic violence related, assault – non-domestic violence related, assault police, robbery without a weapon, robbery with a firearm, robbery with a weapon not a firearm, sexual assault and indecent assault / act of indecency / other sexual offences.

*Property offences include:
break and enter dwelling, break and enter non-dwelling, motor vehicle theft, steal from motor vehicle, steal from retail store, steal from dwelling, steal from person, stock theft and other theft.

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