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​Justice system delivering for the community

Issued: Thursday 12 February 2015

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 A new report released today shows the majority of NSW residents are confident that the justice system is bringing criminals to account.

Attorney General and Minister for Justice Brad Hazzard welcomed the report by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) saying NSW residents’ perception of crime is now close to matching the reality.

“Not only is crime in NSW stable or falling in most categories but this report shows the community is more informed and their confidence in the system has increased,” Mr Hazzard said.

In 2007, when the bureau initially examined confidence in the justice system, almost half of people surveyed were not confident offenders were being brought to justice.

“This lack of confidence was often associated with mistaken beliefs about crime rates and sentencing,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Since that study, Chief Justice Tom Bathurst - along with senior members of the judiciary and the bar – have sought to make the courts and their processes more accessible by undertaking forums for the public and the media on sentencing.

“Now – according to the latest report - two out of three residents in NSW have confidence in the NSW justice system delivering results and bringing criminals to account.”

Improving community confidence by:

  • Conducting public forums for the community and the media.
  • Passing laws to support the media broadcasting judgments and sentences in major criminal trials.

Mr Hazzard said while the results of the study were encouraging more work needed to be done.
“As with past surveys, confidence in the justice system is lower among people who wrongly believe crime is rising and who underestimate conviction and imprisonment rates,” Mr Hazzard said.

“While an increasing proportion of offenders are receiving jail sentences, there remains a strong perception in the community that courts are lenient.

“It is important we continue working with BOCSAR and other justice agencies to break down misconceptions and make sure our justice system is transparent and accessible to the community,” Mr Hazzard said.