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Byron Shire
April 1, 2023

Guns down, ice rising: NSW crime report

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Crystal methamphetamine, also known as Ice. Image by Psychonaught.
Crystal methamphetamine, also known as Ice. Image by Psychonaught.

Gun crimes in NSW are down over the last quarter for the first time, but new figures reinforce NSW is in grip of an ice epidemic.

Illegal shootings and shootings without murderous intent both decreased in the three months to September, a NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research report shows.

With drive-by shootings stable, along with an increased number of prohibited weapons being taken off the streets, it suggests a police crackdown on gun crime has so far been a success.

A long-running spate of tit-for-tat shootings, many of which were gang-related, prompted Operation Talon and Strike Force Raptor to be formed in recent years.

‘We will proactively go out after people involved in crime where they use a gun,’ NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said on Wednesday.

‘That includes full use of firearms prohibition orders, through to search provisions and all legislative support we’ve received to make it really, really hard (for gun crime).’

The BOCSAR report also shows robberies, thefts, break-and-enters, and non-domestic assaults have decreased.

Across the 17 major crime categories, seven are down while the rest have remained stable.

‘For the second consecutive quarter, crime is down in NSW – we’ve set a new a record,’ said Police and Emergency Services Minister Stuart Ayres.

And while reported incidents of domestic assaults have increased, this may be a positive as as it shows victims are speaking up more often.

Mr Scipione says domestic violence is grossly under reported in NSW and Australia.

‘We actually set targets to see an increase in that crime category,’ he said.

‘If we don’t, we know we’re not being effective in our communication.’

But he said the overall level of domestic violence was “horrific”, with NSW police attending more than 120,000 domestic incidents last year.

Mr Ayres said the national ice epidemic has taken hold in NSW, proven by a 26 per cent rise amphetamine detections.

‘Please don’t try it, don’t even tempt yourself with it – it will destroy your life faster than any other drug,’ he said.


* Unlawful shootings down 23.6 per cent

* Shooting with intent other than murder down 35.7 per cent

* Breaking and entering home down 8.7 per cent

* Robbery without a weapon down 20.4 per cent

* Retail theft down 9.1 per cent

* Amphetamine detection up 26 per cent

* Prohibited weapon detections up 22 per cent

* Sexual, indecent assault stable

* Fraud stable

* Murders stable

(Source: NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research)

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