Recently released crime statistics are 'alarming', according to local police.TONI BRIENT March 5, 2014 4:15am
The latest crime statistics for the Wangaratta Local Area Command are ‘‘alarming’’, says Inspector David Ryan.
Victoria Police on Wednesday released the crime data which shows the region, which includes Moira Shire, recorded an eight per cent increase in criminal offences last year.
The data compared the number of offences issued during the last calendar year to those issued in 2012.
Police issued a total of 4152 offences in the region last year, compared with 3839 in 2012.
The sharpest rise was in drug offences, which rose 42 per cent, from 297 in 2012 to 422 last year.
Insp Ryan said one third of the total drug offences last year were recorded in November during Operation Strawberry Fields, when police set up a road block near Koonoomoo to intercept drivers on their way to and from the Strawberry Fields music festival in Berrigan.
During the operation, 51 people were caught driving under the influence of drugs and 77 people charged with possession.
Insp Ryan said police would continue to seize drugs in the community, targeting drug dealers and aiming to combat the ‘‘youth culture’’ where young people ‘‘protected’’ drug dealers instead of reporting them.
‘‘Let’s call them what they are,’’ Insp Ryan said. ‘‘It’s a loser walking around nightclubs or about the community handing out ecstasy tablets or handing out points of ice or other amphetamines for their own gain.
‘‘Young people favour protection of drug dealers over the protection of their friends.
‘‘We need that to change.’’
Insp Ryan highlighted the 17 per cent increase in assaults as another concerning figure in the crime statistics.
He said family violence accounted for almost half the total assault offences in the region.
‘‘My message is quite simple regarding family violence,’’ Insp Ryan said.
‘‘It is time for all men in this community to stand up and say no to violence.
‘‘Family violence must become so socially unacceptable that perpetrators are left under no illusion that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and that their continued freedom is at risk.’’
Insp Ryan said the 41 per cent increase in residential burglary was also concerning, and urged residents to be vigilant around the home.
‘‘Successful reduction in burglary offending is usually through the observation activities of the community,’’ he said.
‘‘If someone or something is possibly suspicious, then people report it to police.’’
However, the data revealed a drop in crimes against property, with property damage offences falling almost two per cent and non-residential burglaries decreasing by 13 per cent.
Motor vehicle thefts were also down, with thefts from motor vehicles decreasing 15 per cent and thefts of motor vehicles decreasing by 14 per cent.
The region’s rate of crime per 100
Cyclists, runners and walkers appear to be fair game for swooping native birds protecting their young.
In a day made for football at the sun-bathed Lavington Sports Club Oval the 2015 Yarrawonga Under 16 Pigeons showed their class with a comprehensive victory in the AWJFL Grand Final against Wodonga.
Tatura and Murchison SES Units were two of 28 Victorian State Emergency Service volunteer units to receive new equipment recently, as part of the annual AAMI equipment handover program.
SHOULD Campaspe Shire council have a position on gay marriage?
ROCHESTER police say hoon drivers and anyone disobeying road laws should prepare to lose their car.
Kyabram Football Netball Club's top veteran footballers have been inducted into the club's inaugural Hall of Fame.
More news as the Seymour Show edges closer.
Berrigan public decides drainage works location
A THREE-MONTH-OLD girl from Heathcote who died on Sunday night did not have any physical signs of injuries when ambulance arrived, according to police.
Cobram Barooga leaders and tourism operators have welcomed the launch of a new tourism strategy focusing on events, which aims to attract more people to the Murray River.
Cancer claims one of its fiercest combatants.
Water allocations were increased in the Goulburn-Murray Water region today.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.