March 2019 BOSCAR report reveals Walcha's disproportionate violent crime rates

Don Weatherburn
Don Weatherburn

Despite the recent attack on the Apsley Motors Service Station Walcha might just be one of the nicest places in NSW to live in terms of break and enters the latest Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) report says.

The numbers were too small to even calculate, statistician Dr Don Weatherburn said.

"Absolutely nothing happened in Walcha, it would compare with Ku-ring-gai in Sydney as one of the safest places for any kind of property crime," he said.

However break and enters occur in Tamworth at almost triple the state rate.

Tamworth ranked ninth for break and enters in the state, but the numbers have actually not changed significantly for better or worse in the last two years, according to the BOCSAR figures.

But the report revealed an alarming statistic for Walcha in terms of violent crime.

Sexual assault rates in the local government area are nearly four times the state rate of criminal incidents of serious crime per 100,000 population. And indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences are five times the state rate.

Over the 12 months until December 2018 there were 9 sexual assaults and 16 incidents of other sexual offences.

There were also 12 reports of domestic violence related assaults and 16 reports of non domestic violence related assaults; and 14 incidents of malicious damage to property.

Violent offences in Walcha have increased by 11.2 percent in the last 60 months.

Walcha was on par with the state rate for both non domestic violence related and domestic violence related assault but domestic violence crime is an issue across the region.

In regional NSW, crime never dropped as much as it did in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, Dr Weatherburn said.

"In more recent times the things working against regional NSW are a more troublesome economy, lower wages and unemployment," he said.