Women are becoming increasingly involved in criminal activity across the state, a trend mirrored in the Penrith Local Government Area.
While still the minority gender committing offences, the number of women offenders is steadily rising, according to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR).
An analysis of data collected over ten years shows that women are offending more often and in some particular offence types, offences committed by women in Penrith are increasing by almost 10 per cent each year.
71 damage property offences were carried out by women in Penrith last year, an increase of almost 50 per cent from 2012; 204 of Penrith’s assaults last year were committed by women, an offence that over 10 years has increased by 6.8 per cent per year; and 295 of the area’s thefts in 2013 has women offenders behind them.
Just last week as Penrith Police carried out ‘Operation Light Fingers’, a regular police operation targeting shoplifters in the Penrith CBD, a woman was charged with seven theft-related offences.
“The woman, a 24-year-old from Heckenberg, was detected in a shopping centre between 12pm and 3pm. She had entered four stores, stealing an amount of beauty products, perfume and clothing,” said Detective Inspector Grant Healey, Penrith Local Area Command Crime Manager.
“She also was carrying a device used to remove security tags from products.”
The woman was arrested, charged with seven related offences and is set to appear before court Tuesday, June 24.
One of the biggest increases in women’s crime across the state has been in drug-related offences, including the possession of ecstasy and the dealing or trafficking of amphetamines.
In Penrith, drug-related offences have risen by an average of 8.2 per cent each year, over a ten year period.
“The jump in arrests for ecstasy or amphetamine offences is probably the result of a change in policing policy or practice. Monitoring by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre shows no increase in female use of these drugs over the last few years,” said Dr Don Weatherburn, BOSCAR Director.