26 September 2023

BOCSAR reports domestic violence going up

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The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has uncovered a 110 per cent rise in domestic violence, stalking and intimidation incidents in the 10 years to 2021.

Executive Director of BOCSAR, Jackie Fitzgerald said the report Trends in domestic violence-related stalking and intimidation offences in the criminal justice system: 2012 to 2021 found incidents recorded by the NSW Police Force had more than doubled over the past 10 years, up from 8,120 in 2012 to 17,063 last year.

“Stalking/intimidation offences have substantially increased across all parts of the NSW Criminal Justice System,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“These incidents typically involved threats, intimidation and verbal abuse (not stalking),” she said.

“Domestic violence-related stalking/intimidation reports recorded by police have doubled, police legal proceedings increased 164 per cent, court actions increased 64 per cent and prison sentences doubled.”

Ms Fitzgerald said the increase had been felt by the Indigenous community with legal proceedings against Aboriginal people increasing 274 per cent from 2012 to 2021.

She said that in 2021, Aboriginal people accounted for 28 per cent of court finalisations and 52 per cent of prison sentences.

“Of the 272 adults in prison for domestic stalking/intimidation in December 2021, over a third were Aboriginal,” the Executive Director said.

Ms Fitzgerald said the rise in stalking/intimidation charges over the past 10 years appeared 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.

She said the number of custodial sentences also increased, up 96.1 per cent from 2014 to 2021 (from 311 to 610)

“Courts consider domestic violence-related stalking/intimidation seriously, with one in eight offenders sentenced to a custodial penalty,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

BOCSAR’s 19-page Report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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