Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Family violence on the rise

An increase in family violence is responsible for an increase in assaults of almost 19 per cent.

FIONA BROOM March 1, 2013 4:10am

Family violence is responsible for an almost 19 per cent jump in assaults in the region and is a ‘‘substantial driver’’ in an overall crime increase of 1.3 per cent, according to police.

The latest crime statistics released yesterday show in the 12 months to December, reported assaults increased 18.9 per cent, while crimes against the person went up 14.8 per cent.

Inspector Ian Bull said about 50 per cent of all reported assaults occurred within the family home.

‘‘The increased reporting of family violence is clearly a reflection of the level of confidence victims of family violence have in the ability of police and partner agencies to provide on-going support,’’ he said.

‘‘It is also important to note the dedicated Family Violence Unit based at Shepparton has been working very hard to deal with recidivist family violence offenders and repeat victims in an effort to stop the cycle of violence continuing.’’

Recorded drug offences increased from 302 in 2011 to 445 last year.

But Insp Bull said the year-on-year figures revealed some encouraging results.

Property offences decreased significantly, with non-residential burglaries dropping 21.8 per cent and thefts from motor vehicles down 37.4 per cent.

‘‘I am particularly delighted that the efforts of local police to educate the community in terms of vehicle security and the efforts of our local Neighbourhood Watch volunteers in conducting parked car audits are now paying off,’’ Insp Bull said.

‘‘From a traffic perspective, I am pleased to report our injury collisions are trending down and we have had no fatalities within the municipality for several months.’’

He said targeted operations would be carried out in the coming weeks and months focusing on driver-impairment issues including drug and drink driving, and mobile phone usage.

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