Report: Major problem with violence across North Coast

CRIME rates across New South Wales are falling - but violence on the streets and behind closed doors remains a major social problem for the North Coast region, a report has revealed.

Pub assaults in the Richmond and Tweed/Byron police commands dropped slightly in the past year, but the NSW Bureau of Statistics found domestic related attacks were headed in the opposite direction.

More than 942 people within the two commands were charged with domestic violence offences between June 2012 and 2013 - an increase of 1.1% in Lismore and 0.9% in Tweed.

Combining the trends with neighbouring NSW north coast commands, the report showed domestic violence was more prevalent between Coffs Harbour and the border than anywhere else in the state outside the Sydney and Newcastle regions.

While fewer murder charges were recorded across the commands, Tweed Heads and Lismore specifically reported a 2.2% spike.

Indecent assaults had increased from 238 to 246.

Property crime was down in general - retail theft and vandalism, in particular, dropped significantly - but armed robberies had jumped by 3% and almost 100 more cars were stolen on the north coast than the previous year.

Fraud offences, mainly attributed to credit card theft, were up by more than 23%.

A 70.8% increase in cases of ecstasy possession in NSW was attributed to major drug operations in Sydney and Byron Bay.

Across the state, three categories - break and enter non-dwelling, motor vehicle theft and malicious damage to property - showed significant downward trends.

The remaining 12 major offence categories were stable.