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June 18, 2024

Only 7 per cent of sexual assaults reported in NSW result in guilty outcome

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The latest study from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), shows that only 7 per cent of sexual assaults reported to NSW Police end up in a guilty verdict in court.

Only 15 per cent of sexual assaults reported to NSW Police result in charges being laid, and of those cases that do go to court, fewer than half are proven.

Executive Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Jackie Fitzgerald, says, ‘This study examined the rate of attrition of sexual assault incidents at each stage of the NSW criminal justice system.

‘In 2018, 5,869 sexual assault incidents were reported to police. Of these, 872 (15 per cent) resulted in a legal action with charges being laid against 969 defendants. 41 per cent of these defendants were subsequently found guilty of at least one sexual offence.

‘Overall, only 8 per cent of contemporary child sexual assault incidents, 7 per cent of historic sexual assault incidents, and 6 per cent of adult sexual assault incidents reported to NSW police, were subsequently proven in court.’

‘By far, the most significant point of attrition is at the police investigation phase,’ said Ms Fitzgerald.

‘While the number of reported sexual assaults have nearly doubled over the last decade, the number of convictions remain low. In 2022, there were 9,138 incidents of sexual assault reported to NSW police, yet in the same year only 1,016 defendants were found guilty of a sexual assault charge in the NSW courts.’

The complete report can be viewed here.


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