Message from the Chief Commissioner

Region 3 crime statistic released

Release date: Mon 18 August 2008

Last updated: Mon 18 August 2008

A proactive focus on family violence and public order has seen Region 3’s overall crime rate rise slightly over the past financial year, Victoria Police’s latest official crime figures have revealed.

Figures released today show a two per cent increase in overall crime in Region 3 in 2007/08, expressed as a rate per 100, 000 of Victorian residents.

Despite the slight increase, Region 3 has achieved a 14.6 per cent decrease in overall crime since 2000/01.

The latest figures highlight a drop in crime in four of the Region’s Police Service Areas including Whittlesea, Moonee Valley, Moreland and Campaspe.

A focus on public order offences across the region saw liquor licensing and public order enforcement rise by 63.5 per cent and police believe this has helped stem assaults, with the crime category only rising slightly from last year (1.1 per cent).

Acting Assistant Commissioner Emmett Dunne said Victoria Police has already introduced a number of initiatives over the past 12 months, which have resulted in public order offences being strongly targeted and enforced by police.

“Throughout Region 3 we have seen a strong focus on the prevention and enforcement of these offences, including a highly successful lockout in Bendigo.

“Over the Christmas and New Year period police in a number of areas including Echuca and Moonee Valley had great success with Operation Summer Blitz, which targeted licensees and licensed premises.

“We also need to remember that alcohol-related crime is a complex and multifaceted issue and is one that the whole community needs to address, not just police.”

Region 3 continues to have a strong focus on vehicle theft, with the theft of motor vehicle category dropping significantly.

The region had a 9.2 per cent reduction in vehicle theft compared to the overall state reduction of 1.5 per cent.

However theft from motor vehicle rose by 20 per cent and Mr Dunne said police would continue to make this a priority in the region.

“This year’s crime figures show we have made significant inroads into reducing theft of motor vehicle, much of which can be attributed to our Region 3 Vehicle Theft Taskforce and a number of Theft Of Motor Car Action Teams working in the PSAs,” he said.

“But we are still seeing people who continue to leave valuables such as GPS units in their car and find themselves victims of an opportunistic crime.

“As a region we will continue to target this offence and make it a key policing priority.

“One way screws are regularly being provided to the community in a bid to reduce number plate thefts and police will continue to run proactive campaigns to educate motorists on the importance of removing valuables from their vehicles.”

A significant decline in rapes and an increase in sex (non rape offences) can be attributed to proactive police intervention, said Mr Dunne.

“Region 3 has had a 15.7 per cent decrease in rape for the 2007/08 period, whilst sex (non rape) offences have increased by 11.3 per cent,” he said.

“These offences are often likely to be family violence related and the increase in reporting indicates victims are more likely to report incidents, demonstrating a confidence in local police to take action.

“In previous years these incidents may have gone unreported, leading to further offences such as rape. Community confidence in this area is extremely important to police because unless we know about something we cannot take action.”

In other crime categories, there was a 29.7 per cent increase in robbery across the region.

Incidents generally involve both youth offenders and victims, and the increase in popular items such as iPods and mobile phones has had a significant impact on the rise.

Mr Dunne said the increase was of major concern to police and they are working with the community to educate people about crime prevention.

“Police have a particular focus on youth in this area as we’re finding young offenders are committing robberies with little or no understanding of the seriousness of the offence,” he said.

“Anecdotal information suggests that young offenders consider street level armed robbery no worse than theft, which is alarming to police.

 “Mobile phones, iPods and laptops continue to be the most commonly stolen items, and it is vital that people keep them out of sight at all times.”

Theft (other) and shopsteal have decreased by 3.2 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively, while theft of bicycle has slightly increased by 0.9 per cent.

Drug offences have fallen by 7.3 per cent, with cultivating, manufacturing and trafficking dropping by 16.2 per cent and possess and use by 3.6 per cent.

In other crime against the person categories, homicide has increased by 11.2 per cent (from 39 offences in 2006/07 to 44 offences in 2007/08) and abduction/Kidnap has dropped by 24.9 per cent.

 
Darebin

Darebin Police Service Area recorded a 3.6 per cent increase in overall crime according to the official 2007/08 crime figures.

Robbery increased by 23.1 per cent, whilst assaults rose just 0.5 per cent. Residential burglary increased by 3.4 per cent, whilst theft from motor car increased by 13.2 per cent. Theft of motor vehicle dropped by 8.5 per cent. Increased detection resulted in drug possess, use increasing by 26.5 per cent. Despite detecting 108 offences drug cultivate, manufacture, traffick decreased by 15.2 per cent.

Darebin Inspector Tess Walsh said local police will focus heavily on proactive initiatives which educate community members about the important role they play in crime prevention, specifically burglaries, robberies and theft from motor vehicle. 

“We also have a strong focus on offences on and around public transport routes with a designated team of members working in partnership with Transit Police,” she said. 

“We credit the small increase in total offences in Darebin to the large increase in detected crime such as drug offences and this has been a part of a deliberate strategy led by our detectives to reduce burglary in the area which is largely driven by drug offenders. 

“Police will continue to build on our tremendous results in reducing theft of motor vehicles with a designated team working on vehicle crime which will also include theft from motor vehicle.”     


Whittlesea

Whittlesea Police Service Area recorded a 3.2 per cent reduction in overall crime according to the official 2007/08 crime figures.

Assaults dropped by 6 per cent whilst robberies increased by 26.7 per cent (56 offences in 2007/08 compared to 43 in 2006/07). Property damage dropped by 9.3 per cent, residential burglary by 4.2 per cent and theft of motor vehicle by 20.1 per cent. Theft from motor vehicle increased by 49.8 per cent.

Whittlesea Inspector Mark Doney said police will focus heavily on a number of areas in the coming year including theft from motor vehicle and ‘soft target’ robberies. 

“We will have a newly formed Divisional Transport Tasking Unit located at Epping that will increase patrols on and around railway stations along the Epping line (Whittlesea and Darebin local government areas),” he said.

“Police will also target local shopping centres and other identified locations to reduce theft of and theft from motor vehicle, assaults, robberies and other anti-social behaviour. 

“Crime prevention initiatives including one-way safety screws, “Secure it or Lose It” and “The Seniors Package” will continue and new initiatives will be developed to reduce crime and increase levels of community safety and satisfaction.”

Police have also been working at a number of levels to continue to educate the community on current crime and traffic trends. 

“Youth as victims and perpetrators of crime will be a key focus with educational sessions on “Not being a Victim of Crime” and “At Risk Behaviour” continuing to target youth at schools,” Insp Doney said.

“Police and youth programs including diversion programs are continuing to grow and partnerships with local council and key service providers are further strengthening as we work together on providing timely services to identified youth at risk and their families.”

Other key focus areas in the Whittlesea Police Service Area include:
• Early intervention for youth and families at risk.
• New Arrivals, emerging and existing multicultural communities
• Seniors and the elderly
• Developing areas
• Traffic policing including targeting hoon driving
• Developing new partnerships and strengthening existing partnerships with local agencies and the community.


Hume

Hume Police Service Area recorded a 1.9 per cent increase in overall crime according to the official 2007/08 crime figures.

A focus on drug detection was demonstrated by a 12.2 per cent rise in drug cultivate, manufacture, traffick. Despite detecting close to 300 offences, drug possess, use decreased by 29.9 per cent.

Assaults rose by 4.9 per cent and property damage by 14.7 per cent. Robberies increased by 22.6 per cent.

Theft from motor vehicle increased by 32 per cent whilst theft of motor vehicle decreased by 7 per cent.


Moonee Valley

Moonee Valley Police Service Area recorded a 2.9 per cent reduction in overall crime according to the official 2007/08 crime figures.

Assaults dropped by 7 per cent whilst robbery increased by 33.3 per cent.

Residential burglary dropped by 24.7 per cent and aggravated burglary decreased by 47.2 per cent. Theft from motor vehicle rose by 7.2 per cent whilst theft of motor vehicle dropped by 1 per cent. A focus on liquor licensing and alcohol related crime resulted in a 19 per cent rise in regulated public order offences.


Moreland

Moreland Police Service Area recorded a 1.5 per cent reduction in overall crime according to the official 2007/08 crime figures.

Residential burglary declined by 2.8 per cent and theft of motor vehicle by 11.4 per cent.

Assaults rose by 4.2 per cent and robberies increased by 68.7 per cent. Theft from motor vehicle increased by 26.3 per cent whilst drug detection rose with drug possess, use increasing by 12.4 per cent. Despite detecting 100 offences, drug cultivate, manufacture, traffic declined by 27.3 per cent.

 
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