Surge in domestic violence in Lismore, Byron and Ballina

A WORRYING spike in domestic violence has reared its head in Lismore, Byron and Ballina while politicians congratulate themselves for a drop in assaults in the Sydney CBD.

Latest Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show cases of domestic assaults increased 20.6% in Ballina last year - from 136 instances in 2013 to 164 last year.

There was a 14.4% rise in domestic violence related assaults in Byron, and a 13.7% rise in Lismore.

The rise in violence at home has been felt across NSW, though less markedly than on the North Coast, with a state-wide 2.7% increase in domestic violence assaults.

Last year, there were 29,070 recorded cases of domestic violence in NSW, up from 28,423 in 2013.

Regional and coastal areas are also battling a growing ice epidemic - a long-running fight represented in the BOCSAR statistics.

Between January 2013 and December 2014, charges for amphetamine dealing rose 27.6%.

Possession charges for amphetamines increased 36.3%, cocaine was up 31.2% and marijuana charges grew 16.7%.

Shadow Minister for Police Jodi McKay said the 12.7% reduction in assaults in Sydney's CBD was worth celebrating, but warned the government not to overlook the other concerning increases in crime.

"From the dramatic rise in drug-related crime to domestic violence, this report shows there is no room for complacency," she said.

"Unemployment in the Hunter Valley, the Murray, the Northern Rivers, the Mid North Coast and the Central West is in double digits - or very close to it.

"Providing people in these communities with genuine hope and economic opportunity is one of the best ways the state can reduce crime."

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