Domestic violence a 'huge problem'

THE latest NSW crime statistics have revealed the state's residents are less likely to be attacked in the streets but are no safer in their own homes.

Alcohol fuelled assaults in public places fell about in the past year but NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said on Thursday it "saddened" him to admit domestic violence remained a "huge problem".

He said every day in NSW, 400 people fell victim to domestic violence and the recent statistics showed there had been no change.

Petrol drive-offs were blamed for a spike in "stealing from vehicle" and fraud offences.

Mr Scipione said police had noticed a significant increase in the number of offenders stealing number plates from cars and using them as a disguise to fill up at stations and leave without paying.

He suggested "pay before you pump" schemes and anti-theft screws for number plates could go a long way to solving the problem.

While drive-by shooting statistics remained "stable" Mr Scipione recognised there had been a distrubing rise in concentrated shootings in Sydney's west this year.

He said the reality was there were "too many illegal firearms in the community and as long as they are out there, we will have shootings".

He congratulated gang squad officers attached to Operation Spartan for the recent arrests linked to the drive-by shootings and said he would continue to work with federal police and the NSW Government to bring down gun crime across the state.