Crime down, cocaine up in NSW: report

Perry Duffin
AAP

NSW is increasingly well behaved but can't keep its nose out of trouble when it comes to cocaine, a report has found.

Four of the 17 major offences studied by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research have been on a downward trend for the last two years, data released on Wednesday shows.

Only one has gone up in NSW during that time: stealing from a retail store, which increased by 3.9 per cent.

The other twelve have remained stable.

Violent crimes like murder, attempted murder, assault, armed robbery and sexual assault have roughly trended down since around 2003 and 2004.

Overall, property offences including break-and-enters, stealing and fraud have also continued to drop since their highest points in 2001.

Fewer people have been caught in possession or using amphetamine over the last two years.

Dealing narcotics and amphetamine have dropped about a quarter each while dealing cannabis has dropped by a third.

But cocaine possession and use has jumped by 43.4 per cent while dealing the drug has increased by 64 per cent in the same period.

More than half of the people caught with cocaine were detected in Sydney's affluent eastern suburbs and inner city, Police Minister Troy Grant noted.

"Cocaine is a dangerous and addictive substance that has destroyed many lives, and this upward swing has got to stop," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Users are lining the pockets of drug cartels and have been put on notice - if you are caught buying cocaine, you will be charged."

NSW Police attributed the increased rates to drug targeting operations.

"We have regular drug operations including the use of drug detection dogs throughout the CBD, suburbs and regional centres targeting illicit drug possession and distribution," Commissioner Mick Fuller said in a statement.

He praised proactive policing for lowering or stabilising the other major crime categories.

Indecent and sexual assaults also jumped in some greater Sydney suburbs by between 30 and 46 per cent while much of the rest of the state remained stable.

Mr Grant commended people who reported the crime and allowed police to hold perpetrators to account.

The last five years, ending in December 2017, saw murder drop by 14 per cent, robbery with a firearm drop by 20.5 per cent and robbery without a weapon drop 12.5 per cent.