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​New study shows NSW is tough on criminals

Issued: Wednesday, 27 May 2015

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NSW Attorney General Gabrielle Upton has today welcomed the released of a study which shows sentencing in NSW is tougher than in Victoria and Queensland.

The Judicial Commission of NSW study Sentencing in NSW: A cross-jurisdictional comparison of full-time imprisonment compares sentences imposed in NSW with those in Victoria and Queensland.

Ms Upton said the study shows criminals in NSW are more likely to receive tougher sentences that are more in line with community expectations.

"The community rightly expects people who do the crime, will do the time. Sentences must align with the community’s expectations of justice if the community is to have confidence in the justice system. This study shows criminals in NSW are more likely to spend time behind bars for a longer time than Victoria and Queensland," Ms Upton said.

The study focused on five common offence categories including sexual assault, child sexual assault, dangerous/culpable driving causing death, robbery and break and enter/burglary. These three States have very similar maximum penalties for these offences.

Key findings of the study include;

  • NSW had a higher rate of imprisonment than Victoria and Queensland for all five offence categories examined;
  • NSW had longer median head sentence (84 months) than both Victoria (48 months) and Queensland (72 months) for sexual assault of a child under 10;
  • NSW had a longer median head sentence (44 months) than both Victoria (36 months) and Queensland (36 months) for robbery;
  • NSW had a longer median head sentence for break and enter/burglary (36 months) than both Victoria (24 months) and Queensland (24 months).

Ms Upton added the NSW Government is doing more to ensure sentencing aligns with community expectations.

"This study is encouraging but there is more to do to ensure our community is safe and has confidence in our justice system. We have introduced tough new laws into Parliament that will better protect and deliver justice for victims of child sexual assault," Ms Upton said