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Police-Recorded Assaults on Hospital Premises in New South Wales: 1996-2006

NCJ Number
Kirin Hilliar
Date Published
July 2008
11 pages
This report examines the characteristics and trends of assaults occurring on hospital premises as recorded by police in New South Wales (NSW) between 1996 and 2006.
Highlights of the report include: (1) between 1996 and 2006 in New South Wales (NSW), there was a 50-percent increase in the number of police-recorded assaults occurring on hospital premises; (2) most hospital assaults occurred between 3-9 p.m.; (3) both the person of interest (POI) and the victim were most often male, with the POI slightly younger than the victim; (4) in over two-thirds of all hospital assaults, the victim was previously unknown to the POI; (5) in situations where the POI and victim were unknown to each other, the victim was most often either a hospital staff member or police officer; and (6) between 1996 and 2006 there was a clear decrease in the proportion of recorded assaults resulting in injuries to the victim, a significant increase in the number of mental health-related hospital assaults, and a significant decrease in the proportion of alleged hospital assaults resulting in legal proceedings. In the past decade in NSW there has been a marked increase in the number of assaults recorded as occurring on hospital premises. The aim of this report is twofold. The first is to characterize the police-recorded hospital assaults that occurred in 2006. The second is to analyze trends in characteristics of hospital assaults between 1996 and 2006 to investigate whether any changes in these features can help account for the upward trend. To accomplish this task, two datasets were extracted from the NSW Police Force Computerized Operational Policing System (COPS). Figures, tables, references, notes, and appendix