Police 'still rely heavily on community support' to combat crime.CHALPAT SONTI March 5, 2014 4:03am
An increase in residential burglaries and thefts from vehicles has led to a 10.3 per cent rise in crimes in the Mitchell and Strathbogie shires.
Latest Victoria Police figures released last week show there were 3252 reported offences in 2013 in the Mitchell Police Service Area — which covers the two shires — up 305 on the previous year.
Property crime increased 20.8 per cent, to 1788 reported offences, while the three other categories — crimes against the person, drug offences and other crimes — showed little change.
Thefts from motor vehicles rose 41.5 per cent, to 208, while residential burglaries rose 35.6 per cent to 221.
Other burglaries fell 21 per cent to 98 and assaults dropped 7.6 per cent, to 508.
Mitchell Police Service Area Inspector Glenn Woolfe said many thefts occurred because owners left their cars, houses and sheds unlocked.
‘‘I would encourage owners to remove keys from equipment such as mowers, tractors and motor bikes, particularly in rural areas,’’ he said.
‘‘We are committed to reducing these types of crimes with increased high visible police patrols but we still rely heavily on support from the community in reporting suspicious behaviour.’’
The southern part of Mitchell Shire was a booming growth area and because of the increased population ‘‘there has been a large increase in the number of burglaries and thefts around building sites and these have been a concern for police’’.
Motor vehicle collisions continued to be a concern with speed, fatigue, alcohol and driver carelessness being the main contributing factors.
‘‘Those engaged in ‘off-road’ activities also contribute to our road trauma and they need to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy and that they are wearing correctly fitted safety equipment,’’ Inspector Woolfe said.
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