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Increased reporting behind rise in assaults: police

More residents coming forward to make official complaints is behind a rise in assaults in the Campaspe region, according to police.

ELAINE COONEY December 5, 2013 4:00am

Rochester police believe new statistics showing an increase in assaults is mainly due to more people reporting domestic violence.

Victoria Police recently revealed figures showing a high increase in assaults in the Campaspe region.

The figures show an increase of 11 per cent in family violence.

Sergeant Dale Simm of Rochester police said the community and police no longer tolerated family violence and more residents were coming forward to make official complaints.

‘‘There is a lot of advertising in relation to family violence, so people are reporting it to the police and we are pointing them in the right direction,’’ he said.

‘‘(People) shouldn’t have to put up with that stuff in the family home.’’

He said in the past few months, Rochester residents had made official complaints about ‘emotional violence’.

He said emotional violence could be a partner limiting access to money or not allowing them socialise with friends and family.

Leading Senior Constable John Atley said the figure could be higher next year if domestic violence victims continued to make official complaints.

‘‘It seems the community as a whole wants to stamp it out,’’ he said.

He said the complaints he dealt with ranged from minor assaults to serious threats.

Leading Sen. Constable John Atley said people seemed to be more ‘‘at ease’’ reporting family violence this year compared to previous years.

Sgt Simm said there had been in increase in intervention orders among family members in the Rochester district.

He said the increase of non-family violence, which spiked by 48.9 per cent since the same time last year, was due to instances ‘‘in and around Echuca and other areas’’ and did not believe there was a significant change in non-family violence assaults in Rochester.

He explained that the rise in assaults statistics could be due to one individual carrying out a number of assaults in one night.

Sgt Simm was not surprised about the drop in drug offences, which was down 3.5 per cent on last year.

He believed the drug problem remained constant but it was becoming harder to detect users and to catch dealers.

Sgt Simm said the drug scene tended to be quieter in winter, which could also account for the drop.

‘‘Now that summer is coming, they grow a lot more (cannabis),’’ he said.

He said it was also the ‘‘party season’’ so expected to encounter more amphetamine dealers and users.

He said Rochester police were taking preventative measures in dealing with violence and drug abuse on the streets.

‘‘We will be doing walk-throughs in hotels and parties,’’ he said.

Sgt Simm said he would make sure residents took responsibility for their friends when they were out by asking them to take intoxicated peers home.

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