27 April 2016
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Sydney Institute of Criminology
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NSW Recorded Crime Statistics 2015
On 20 April 2016, the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) released the NSW Recorded Crime Statistics 2015 report. Reporting of the 2015 recorded crime statistics was overshadowed by the release of the findings into whether the ‘lockout laws’ have resulted in increased assaults at The Star Casino.  So, in case you missed the key highlights from the NSW 2015 recorded crime statistics, here they are:
  • In the 24 months to December 2015:
    • One of the 17 major offence categories showed a significant upward trend across NSW (steal from retail store);
    • Seven were trending downward (three separate robbery offence categories; break and enter dwelling and non-dwelling; motor vehicle theft; steal from motor vehicle); and
    • The remaining nine offences were stable (murder; domestic violence related assault; non-domestic violence related assault; sexual assault; indecent assault; steal from dwelling; steal from person; fraud; and malicious damage to property).
    • Beyond these 17 major offence categories, there were increases over the 24 months to December 2015 in the following offence categories:
      • Possession and/or use of cocaine (up 35.9%), amphetamines (up30.6%) and cannabis (up 8.6%);
      • Breach bail conditions (up 14.9%); and
      • Transport regulatory offences (up 41.3%).
      • These NSW trends mask regional differences. Recorded crime data provided for statistical areas and local government areas reveals a mixed picture across these geographies.
      • Increases in the use of court attendance notices and infringement notices have resulted in increases in the total number of people being put before the courts and being issues with a fine (page 35 breaks down the methods of legal proceedings in NSW).
      • Information is also contained within the report on the percentage of offences that are cleared across 30 and 90 day periods. Dramatically different clear-up rates exist for different offences. Murder, domestic violence related assault, steal from retail store, and abduction and kidnapping offences had greater than 40% clear-up rates within 90 days of reporting in 2015. Arson, steal from motor vehicle, and steal from dwelling, have clear-up rates below 5% in 2015 (see pages 38-41 for information on clearance rates).
Further to this report, BOCSAR also released An Update on Long-term Trends in Violent and Property Crime in NSW: 1990-2015. A central finding in this report is that “[s]ome categories of crime in NSW are now at the lowest recorded levels they have been for over 25 years” (emphasis added). Crime categories that have fallen over this period include:
  • Robbery with a firearm (86% lower)
  • Motor vehicle theft (80% lower)
  • Break and enter dwelling (58% lower)
  • Murder (56% lower)
  • Robbery with a weapon not a firearm (53% lower)
Not all crime categories have declined. Three of the ten offence types analysed in the report were found to have recorded rates higher in 2015 than in 1990: sexual assault (131% higher); other sexual offences (102% higher); and assault (62% higher).

Dr Garner Clancey
Senior Lecturer, Criminology
Sydney Law School
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Recent Publications
Did the 'lock out law' reforms increase assaults at the Star casino, Pyrmont?
Neil Donnelly, Don Weatherburn, Kylie Routledge, Stephanie Ramsey and Nicole Mahoney 

The number of non-domestic assaults recorded by the NSW Police Force at The Star casino increased following the introduction of the ‘lockout and last drinks laws’ but the increase was comparatively small, according to new research released last week by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR). 

BOCSAR analysed trends in recorded incidents of non-domestic assault in The Star casino precinct from January 2009 to December 2015. In absolute terms, the increase in the number of non-domestic assaults in The Star casino precinct was fairly small; slightly less than two additional assaults per month.

BOCSAR also carried out a detailed examination of all non-domestic assaults recorded by police as having occurred in Pyrmont in 2015. Forty-nine per cent (n=76) of the non-domestic assaults that occurred in Pyrmont occurred in The Star casino precinct. This includes assaults occurring in the casino, at one of the entrances to the casino and at the casino taxi rank.

In the majority (71%) of these incidents the victim of the assault was a patron at the casino but more than one in 10 (15%) were taxi drivers. In 30 per cent of casino incidents the assault occurred while the offender was being evicted from the premises or after he or she had been evicted. In the Kings Cross Entertainment Precinct there were 13 fewer assaults per month in 2014 than in 2013. In the Sydney Entertainment Precinct there were 30 fewer assaults per month in 2014 than in 2013.
Responding to unruly airline passengers: The Australian Context
Susan Goldsmid, Georgina Fuller and Rick Brown

Incidents with unruly airline passengers can arise for a number of reasons, including alcohol intoxication, inappropriate use of mobile phones and perceived poor service from airline staff. This paper Responding to Unruly Airline Passengers: The Australian Context reports the findings of a literature review and roundtable with airlines and other stakeholders that examined the nature of incidents and the current approaches to addressing the issue. The report describes the causes of incidents, the profile of destinations and passengers, the management of incidents and the typical consequences in terms of civil and criminal sanctions. This paper has implications for law enforcement and for the aviation sector.
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Upcoming Events
What can be done about wrongful convictions?
This event is hosted by the Institute of Criminology, Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney. 2016 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Sydney Institute of Criminology, and this panel event is part of a suite of events throughout the year that showcases the contributions of the Institute to criminal justice research, policy and debate. 

This panel event, chaired by Associate Professor David Hamer, will discuss two projects on wrongful convictions in the United States and Australia respectively.

Professor Jon Gould will discuss some of the key findings and implications of his four-year collaborative US study, Preventing Wrongful Convictions, funded by the National Institute of Justice. The study employed quantitative and qualitative analyses of 'erroneous convictions' and 'near misses' to understand the many potential causes of wrongful convictions. Professor Richard A. Leo will share his deep understanding of the role of false confessions in wrongful convictions.

Dr Bob Moles andMs Bibi Sangha will discuss the findings from the Australian Networked Knowledge and Flinders University Miscarriages of Justice Project (FUMOJ), and explore what appears to be a long series of wrongful convictions in South Australia, including the significant causal role apparently played by South Australia's former Chief Forensic Pathologist, Dr Colin Manock.

Time: 4-6pm
Date: Thursday 28 April 
Location: The Foyer, Level 2, New Law School, University of Sydney. 
Cost: Free, however registration is essential
Email: law.events@sydney.edu.au
"Rack 'em, Stack 'em and Pack 'em": Decarceration in an Age of Zero Tolerance
The Sydney Institute of Criminology is pleased to present this lecture in a series celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Institute. Join us as Dr Don Weatherburn of the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) reflects on Australia's growing prison populations. This event will be chaired by Professor Eileen Baldry from the University of New South Wales. 

About the lecture: 
In the 66 years between 1918 and 1984, the Australian imprisonment rate rose by just 13 per cent. In the 29 years that followed, it more than doubled. Australia now has more than 36,000 people behind bars. Our imprisonment rate exceeds that of Canada, the United Kingdom and most of Europe. The Indigenous imprisonment is now more than 45 per cent higher than it was at the time of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The rate of female imprisonment has quadrupled since 1982.  This paper considers how we got to this point, what costs and benefits we've accrued along the way, and what measures might be effective in reducing rates of imprisonment.   

Date: Wednesday 11 May 
Time: 5:30 pm registration, 6pm - 7:30pm lecture 
Location: Common Room, Level 4, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney
Information on how to register for this free event will become available on the Sydney Institute of Criminology website in coming days. 
Indigenous Incarceration and Violence
Despite making up only three percent of the overall population, Indigenous Australians are twelve times more likely to be incarcerated than the wider community and make up 40 per cent of those imprisoned for assault offences. Indigenous women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised and 7-8 times more likely to be killed as a result of domestic violence. A focus of Prof Langton and Cashman's work to date has been addressing these national crises.

Does the current policy discourse assist in reducing incarceration rates and victimisation of Indigenous Australians? Prof Langton and Cashman will discuss why policy approaches focusing on employment and economic development can empower Indigenous communities and turn the tides on these devastating statistics. 

Date: 9 May 
Time: 6pm 
Location: UNSW, Faculty of Law, G04 - High Street, Kensington, NSW 2052

Please register your attendance here.

Upcoming Professional Development Courses in May 2016
Psychology of Crime Course – 7 May 2016. This course is delivered by an experienced forensic psychologist and it provides practical insights into working with forensic clients.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Course – 19 and 20 May 2016. This intensive course, delivered by an internationally renowned CPTED practitioner, will provide hands-on opportunities to apply CPTED knowledge and skills.

Working with Domestic Violence Offenders Course – 27 May 2016 This one-day course will be delivered by a staff member from the NSW Corrective Services Academy and will focus on practical skills required to work effectively with domestic violence offenders.
Crime and Justice Research Centre Seminar Series

Speakers: Dr Larissa Sandy & Dr Anastasia Powell (RMIT)

Title: Narrative constructions of women as victims in news and social media: Case studies from trafficking in Cambodia and sexual violence in Victoria (Australia).
Date: Thursday May 19, 2016
Time: 3:30-5pm 
Location: Room C412, Level 4 C Block, Gardens Point Campus, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George Street, Brisbane QLD 4000

Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South: An International Conference
Co-hosted by the Crime and Justice Research Centre (QUT) and the Asian Criminological Society

10-13 July 2017
Cairns, Australia, Shangri-La Hotel
http://crimejusticeconference.com.au/
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Investigation and Legal Research Officer, NSW Ombudsman
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Senior Youth Justice Lawyer, North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency, Darwin
NAAJA provides legal aid for Indigenous people in the Top End of the Northern Territory, with offices in Darwin and Katherine. We are recognised as a leading legal service and have received national and local human rights and crime prevention awards for our work.  We are committed to providing quality representation for our clients and bringing about long term change in the justice system through law reform and education. Our staff are motivated, dedicated and do work that matters.

Successful applicants will have a commitment to providing access to justice and a demonstrated empathy and sensitivity to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, history and culture. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply.

Applications close 2 May 2016. 
More information is available here.
Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Criminology
About the role
  • $97K-$114K (Level B); 118K-135K (Level C) plus (17% superannuation and leave loading)
  • The position is available on a convertible tenure track basis which will include an initial fixed-term period of three years. The successful applicant will be expected to commence from 1 July 2016.
  • Full-time.
This position falls within the Criminology team of the Social Inquiry Cluster and is concerned with the study of crime, law, justice, understanding violence and offending, punishment and human rights. Courses in criminology deal with the State in both a national and international context, the criminal justice system, networks of crime, disadvantaged groups, young people, sexual offenders, politics, the media, and theories of crime. Our Criminology programs are taught in partnership with UNSW Law and provide unique opportunities for cross disciplinary work and collaboration. 

Contact:
Dr Christopher Walker, Head, School of Social Sciences, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences
E: c.walker@unsw.edu.au
T: (61 2) 9385 3571 or 9385 2292 (school office)
Applications close: 30 April 2016

More information is available here.


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