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Published date: Tuesday, 4 June 2019

[PDF version of this media release]

Attorney General Mark Speakman today paid tribute to outgoing Executive Director of the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), Dr Don Weatherburn, for his contributions to the justice system and keeping NSW communities safe. 

After 31 years as the state’s foremost independent authority on crime data, Dr Weatherburn has signalled his intention to step down from the position on 3 July. 

“Dr Weatherburn has provided successive governments with well-researched and fearlessly frank advice that has helped shape justice reforms on a range of issues including early intervention, rehabilitation, liquor licensing and court efficiency,” Mr Speakman said. 

“His studies have helped governments identify crime problems and deliver evidence-based solutions.” 

Dr Weatherburn joined BOCSAR in 1983, working as a Senior Research Officer for four years before being appointed Foundation Director of Research at the NSW Judicial Commission. He was appointed Executive Director of BOCSAR in 1988 and was awarded the Public Service Medal in 1998. 

Dr Weatherburn’s significant reports include studies into the impact of drug law enforcement on the heroin market; child neglect and juvenile delinquency; the effectiveness of the NSW Drug Court; the effect of methadone maintenance treatment on crime; the economic and social causes of Indigenous offending; and the impact of liquor licensing reform on alcohol-related violence. 

“I’m immensely grateful for Dr Weatherburn’s considerable contribution to the NSW criminal justice system over more than three decades. He leaves his position having built a remarkable legacy. I wish him well,” Mr Speakman said. 

BOCSAR’s Deputy Director, Jackie Fitzgerald will act as the bureau’s executive director until Dr Weatherburn’s replacement is appointed.