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Greater Shepparton crime increase

Assaults and burglaries are the main driver behind a 15.8 per cent increase in crime across Greater Shepparton in the past year, new police statistics show.

CHLOE WARBURTON August 28, 2014 4:29am

Victoria Police annual statistics show a total of 6702 crimes were reported in the region from July 1 last year to June 30 — almost 1000 more than were reported the previous year.

The biggest drop was recorded in drug offences — down 15 per cent from last year with 438 offences reported in Greater Shepparton.

The biggest spike was 74.5 per cent in the burglary (other) category, which includes commercial premises, while residential burglaries dropped 4.8 per cent.

Shepparton police Inspector Ian Bull said a 15.8 per cent rise in crime across Greater Shepparton was disappointing and assault offences, property damage, thefts from motor vehicles and commercial burglaries were the main drivers of the increase.

‘‘Intelligence reveals that we do have some highly recidivist offenders operating within the community and we are actively targeting those offenders and areas where offences are occurring,’’ Insp Bull said.

Assaults rose 10.4 per cent, but only 1.8 per cent of that increase was associated with family violence. However, family violence still accounted for about 50 per cent of all assaults.

Insp Bull said one of the most frustrating offences for local police in the past year had been theft from motor vehicles, which rose 31 per cent. There were 478 thefts from motor vehicles in the past year — an average of more than one a day.

‘‘The frustration associated with these crimes is due to the fact that the overwhelming majority of vehicles being entered have been left unlocked, and often have valuables on display,’’ Insp Bull said.

‘‘This is despite a significant push by police through local media and via door-knocking to remind people to secure their vehicles.’’

Insp Bull said a drop of 70 per cent in fatalities on Greater Shepparton roads was positive and urged drivers to continue driving within the road rules and be patient to reduce the figure even further.

‘‘Just one fatality or one serious injury is one too many,’’ he said.

Across Victoria, a quarter of crime in the past year could be contributed to family violence incidents and detected crimes such as drug use and possession.

Following three consecutive years of increased crime rates, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said it was time for police to re-evaluate how crime should be policed in Victoria.

‘‘While the traditional model of policing is serving us well in pushing down crime in areas such as robberies, burglaries and theft, we need to look at a new way to address emerging crime trends,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s important Victoria Police becomes a flexible organisation, ready to dedicate specialist resources to emerging issues such as organised crime, our community’s battle with ice, cyber crime, historical sex abuse and deceptions.’’

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