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Is the Assault Rate in NSW Higher Now Than It Was During the 1990s?: An Examination of Police, Crime Victim Survey and Hospital Separation Data

NCJ Number
Clare Ringland; Joanne Baker
Date Published
March 2009
12 pages
This report examined whether the increase in police-recorded rates of assault was due to an actual increase in the amount of violent behavior or an increase in the amount of violent behavior coming to the attention of the authorities.
During the period 1990 to 2007, police in New South Wales reported an increase in the number of assaults recorded by the police. This bulletin examined police data to determine if this increase was due to an increase in the actual amount of violent behavior or if it was attributable to an increase in the number of assaults coming to police attention. Data sources for this bulletin included police data, crime victim surveys, and hospital admissions data. Results from the data analysis revealed that from 1995 to 2007 the number of recorded incidents increased by 66 percent from 638.7 per 100,000 population in 1995 to 1,063.3 per 100,000 population in 2007. Findings from the crime victim survey indicate that during this time period, there was little change in the willingness of victims to report incidents of assault, with 30.4 percent of victims in 1995 and 32.4 percent of victims in 2007 reporting their last incident of assault to the police. Additional findings are provided for: victims of assault by gender; interpersonal violence-related hospitalizations by gender; domestic assault by gender; victims of assault by age group; aggravated and common assault; assault by weapon use; and assault by seriousness of victims' injuries. Figures, notes, and appendixes