Police say serious crime rate in NSW dips to low level

DESPITE weekly shootings and an every-growing body count in Sydney's west, NSW Police insist serious crimes are at their lowest recorded levels in more than 20 years.

Commissioner Andrew Scipione released figures on Wednesday which suggested property and violent crimes in 2012 were significantly lower than in 1990.

Murders were down by 51%, car theft 73% and armed robberies 71%.

While the report showed no real spike in drive-by or non-fatal shootings overall, peaks were recorded in 2000, 2011, 2009 and 2012.

Between April and July last year police recorded the highest number of non-fatal shootings since 1995.

Almost half of those were reported in Sydney's western suburbs.

More than a third of drive-bys were linked to organised crime.

In 2012, there were more than 6000, or 9%, less assaults in NSW than there were five years ago in 2008.

Commissioner Scipione said the most significant upward trend in the past 24 months was petrol fraud.

He hoped petrol stations would continue to adopt the US model of "pay-before-you-pump" to deter criminals.

"These latest figures show the efforts we are making are working, but there is still much work to be done" Mr Scipione said.

"Crime prevention and crime reduction is a community partnership. As the old saying goes - the community is our eyes and ears - tell us what you see, tell us what you hear and we will act."

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