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By Roje Adaimy

The City of Sydney recorded the highest number of sexual assaults in the state last year, as well as an increase in offences relating to drug use.
According to figures in the latest report released by NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSR), a total of 182 incidents of sexual assault in the local government area were reported to NSW Police in 2007 ‘ on par with the number of incidents recorded in Blacktown.
This represents almost five per cent of the state’s total sexual assault offences, and more than 50 incidents ahead of the state’s second worst local government area.
The number of other sexual offences recorded in the City ‘ including incest, bestiality, peeping, and wilful and obscene exposure ‘ were the highest they have been in four years.
While the City is known to house some of the largest illicit drug markets in the country, 2007 was one of the area’s worst years when it comes to drug-related crime.
The City saw a considerable increase from previous years in the amount of offences relating to the use and possession of cocaine, narcotics, cannabis, amphetamines, ecstasy and a range of other drugs.
These incidents were recorded during the same period that the City of Sydney Council launched its Drug and Alcohol Strategy for 2007-2010, through which it aimed to reduce drug-related crime and anti-social behaviour.
A City of Sydney spokesperson said that while the safety of residents and visitors are a priority, the management and control of crime is out of their hands.
‘In consultation with police, the City has implemented measures such as 24 hour CCTV monitoring, better lighting in public spaces and more visible, mobile Rangers to address some of these concerns,’ according to the spokesperson.
‘However, crime and anti-social behaviour is the responsibility of the State Government and NSW Police.’
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione this week expressed his concern, in particular, over the substantial jump in theft from motor vehicles – including number plates. He noted that the growth in this crime centred around the City of Sydney district, with over one-thousand more incidents recorded in the area in 2007 than in the previous year.
Mr Scipione is now urging petrol stations to adopt a ‘prepay’ policy to prevent motorists using stolen numberplates from driving off without paying.
Among others, stealing from a retail store and stealing from dwellings increased by 10.7 per cent and 8.2 per cent respectively, in the Sydney local government area.