Bias Crimes

Message for the NSW Community regarding the incident which occurred on  2nd October 2015 at NSW Police Headquarters in Parramatta. 


The shooting incidents which occurred on 2 October at Police Headquarters, Parramatta have impacted the whole community of NSW.

Two lives have been lost and many are grieving. In what has been described as a devastating incident, a 15 year old shot and killed  NSWPF employee, Mr Curtis Cheng, as he was leaving work at Police Headquarters in Parramatta in Sydney’s West. The offender then fired several more shots at officers as they emerged from the building to respond to the incident.  He was killed when special constables returned fire. 

Any loss of life, under these circumstances, affects us all.  This incident has specifically affected the NSW Police Force family. Our sympathies are with the family of Mr Curtis Cheng and all who are grieving at this time.

As Police, our message is that any act of violence, regardless of the motivation will not be tolerated, and will be treated as the serious offence that it is. We have all worked together to create a NSW that is respectful and cohesive and we must continue to nurture all the positive aspects of cultural, linguistic and religious diversity that has always been the fabric of our  Multicultural  Society.

Police will continue to keep the community informed with accurate information.  We ask you to remain calm, go about your daily activities as you normally would and to report anything of concern and suspicion to Police. 

• If it’s an emergency, call Triple Zero ‘000’.  

• To report crime anonymously, call Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000

As stated by Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas:

“The people who will solve this first and foremost are the community, the parents, the mums and dads, the brothers and sisters, the cousins who deal with these kids… Sit and talk to them. Show them love, show them a home environment that pulls them away from abhorrent influences.” 

We want to assure you, the communities of NSW, that NSW Police Force are ready to deal with, and will take very seriously, any threats of violence.

You may notice an increased police presence visible amongst our communities. Police will continue to be at our shopping centres, schools, railway stations, transport networks, public events and places of work and industry. This may also include places of worship and gatherings, to encourage and increase community confidence and safety.  

NSW Police Force takes crimes, that are motivated by hatred or prejudice very seriously and any such crimes will not be tolerated. If you are a witness or victim, and you experience any incidents such as this, we encourage you to report to Police as soon as possible. 

What is a bias crime?

A bias crime is a criminal offence motivated against persons, associates of persons, property or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by an offender’s bias against an individual’s or group’s actual or perceived; race, religion, ethnic/national origin, sex/gender, gender identity, age, disability status, sexual orientation or homeless status.

A bias incident is an incident committed against persons, associates of persons, property or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by an offender’s bias against an individual’s or group’s actual or perceived; race, religion, ethnic/national origin, gender, gender identity, age, disability status, sexual orientation or  homeless status but does not constitute a criminal offence.

The effect of bias crime on victims

  • Feeling isolated and vulnerable
  • Feeling that your self respect has been taken away from you
  • Feeling embittered, angry, frustrated
  • Having a sense of self blame
  • Protecting yourself and finding yourself on the wrong side of the law
  • Loss of faith in the police and the criminal justice system
  • Feeling like retaliating but scared of reprisals
  • A break down in family relationships
  • Finding it difficult to cope
  • Having a sense of despair
  • Finding that nobody believes you
  • Feeling hated by others
  • Feeling afraid to let your children out
  • Suffering emotional/mental stress
  • Hating your home and wanting to move
  • Becoming overcome by panic and anxiety

Why people don't report

  • I don't want the hassle
  • It will go away if I ignore it
  • This must be normal behaviour
  • I will get used to it
  • There might be repercussions
  • I might be called a trouble maker
  • This is probably an isolated incident
  • I can handle it myself
  • Nothing is going to be done anyway
  • It is not serious enough to report
  • I don't want to get anyone into trouble
  • It might affect my career

Why should you report it?

  • Bias crime is rarely a one off incident - There is usually a very small chance of you being a repeat victim of a crime.  However, victims of bias crime are more likely to suffer repeated, constant and daily abuse from the same person/s.
  • The effect of bias crime - Crime can have a devastating psychological effect on you.  Bias crime often consists of a series of crimes, the cumulative effect of such incidents and crimes can destroy lives through emotional damage and long term trauma.
  • Feeling of insecurity - For victims of bias crime, the risk of attack may be constant.  Feelings of insecurity can result in anxiety and a continuous state of watchfulness, and inability to sleep.
  • It is good to be a statistic - If victims of bias crimes do not report it, government agencies and policy makers will not know the extent of the problem in order to take important steps through legislation, training, etc to address it.
  • Don’t let them get away with it - Bias crime is committed by people who do not care who suffers and to what extent.  If they go unchallenged, they will continue to put others in danger.  Report it so they can be caught before others suffer.

Tips on keeping safe

  • Stay alert - awareness is your best defence
  • Leave venues with friends if possible
  • Be confident - even if you don't feel like it
  • Walk as if you know where you are going
  • Trust your instincts - if you think something is wrong, act on it
  • Have your keys in hand when you reach your car or home
  • Keep money for taxis; the expense is worth it
  • Carry a personal alarm and use it
  • Do not challenge the offender

What to do if you're a victim of a bias crime

  • Get to a safe location as soon as possible
  • If the crime is happening call Triple Zero (000) and ask for police
  • Ensure that you tell the operator your name, location and contact number
  • If the crime has happened, attend or call your local police or the Police Assistance Line 131 444
  • If you believe that the crime was bias motivated, tell the officer that you believe it was bias motivated and why
  • Ensure that you record the event number given to you by police for future reference

If you receive threatening letters/phone calls/social media content


  • Limit the amount of contact you have with the letter
  • Do not show it to other people and let them touch it
  • Keep the envelope
  • Place the letter into a paper bag with the envelope
  • Contact Police

Phone calls

  • Record the date and time you received the call
  • Record a description of the call, including voice, background noises, what was said, etc.
  • If you have caller ID, record the number of the incoming call
  • If the call relates to a bomb threat, don't hang up the phone
  • Contact Police


  • Print a copy of the email (including the extended header if possible)
  • Don't delete the email
  • Don't reply to the email
  • Contact Police

Social Media

  • Print a copy of the post/comment
  • Don't delete the post/comment
  • Record the time and date the comment was posted
  • Record the user name of the person who made the comment
  • Don't reply to the post/comment
  • Contact Police

What you can expect from the NSW Police Force

The NSW Police Force takes all crimes seriously including bias motivated crimes.  The NSW Police Force has a dedicated officer who oversights, and works with all Local Area Commands, to investigate bias motivated incidents.

  • Your report taken seriously no matter how minor or trivial it may seem
  • Treated honestly, fairly and with respect at all times
  • Explained the process and what will happen
  • Kept informed about what is going on with your case
  • Informed of the outcome of the investigation
  • Told by police if someone has been charged in relation to your matter

What you can do if you are not happy with the level of service you receive

  • Firstly contact the officer in charge of your matter and speak to them, explain what the problem is; it may be a simply miscommunication
  • If you are not happy with the officer-in-charge’s response, ask to speak to a Supervisor; explain what the problem is