Criminal offences rise in Alpine area
CRIMINAL offences in Alpine Shire increased almost seven per cent in the year to September 30.
The latest crime statistics show the number of offences was up 19 – a total of 296 compared with 277 in the previous year.
The most recent figure – while up slightly – reflects a long-term decrease in crimes in the shire after more than 300 incidents were each recorded in 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Property and deception crimes remained the highest, with 79 thefts, 45 property damage incidents and 27 burglaries or break-ins.
Victoria Police Wangaratta district acting inspector Mark de Haan said the increase in Alpine property damage offences was often linked with illegal deer hunting.
“The escalation in damage to gates on private property and national parks is often connected to people breaking into private property for the purpose of deer hunting,” he said.
“We’ve seen a number of gates being damaged, which is a concern because these gates are closed for a reason.
“The mountainous areas in the Alpine Shire can pose a risk to the public, particularly in winter where snow may conceal hazards.”
A total of 47 assault and related offences were also recorded and there were 28 sexual offences.
Overall, Victoria recorded a 4.8 per cent fall in crime from last year, but a jump of 19.3pc from five years ago.
In 2017, the biggest jump was recorded at justice institutions and immigration facilities – with a 44.5pc increase in offences.