You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

NSW crime down but court appearances rise

AAP logoAAP 29/07/2016

Crime rates have plummeted in NSW over the past five years despite a significant rise in criminal court appearances, new figures reveal.

That is potentially due to police having more time to catch criminals as a result of a decrease in crimes committed, Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) director Dr Don Weatherburn told AAP on Friday.

The latest BOCSAR Criminal Courts Report revealed almost 4000 more criminal court cases were finalised in 2015 than 2011.

"The police are managing to catch more offenders even though crime rates are falling," Dr Weatherburn said.

Officers were able to work more effectively because police resources were less stretched, he said.

He suggested the drop in burglaries, robberies and petty crimes could be due to the burgeoning use of ice over the much dearer heroin.

"The ice epidemic presents a real puzzle. It has had zero effect on burglary and robbery. Ice users don't seem to do that. Most ice users are able to pay for the drug out of their income," Dr Weatherburn said.

"Ice is very cheap so you don't have to rob anyone."

He also suggested advances in technology, such as DNA testing, were another factor in the higher number of arrests.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon