Crime at a five-year high

Campaspe News - - NEWS -

CRIME in Rochester has hit a five-year high, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est data from the Crime Statis­tics Agency.

The agency re­leased its quar­terly data last week, show­ing of­fences had climbed seven per cent in the year to Septem­ber 30.

The to­tal of 240 of­fences is the high­est recorded in Rochester for the 12-month pe­riod to Septem­ber since at least 2012, which is as far back as CSA’s data goes.

The big­gest jump was seen with crimes against the per­son, which rose from 28 in 2015 to 43 this year.

Other of­fences re­mained steady, in­clud­ing crimes cov­er­ing prop­erty and de­cep­tion, drugs, pub­lic or­der and se­cu­rity, and jus­tice pro­ce­dures.

In Cam­paspe Shire, crime has risen more than 25 per cent since De­cem­ber 2014.

Since Septem­ber last year, the num­ber of sex­ual of­fences in Cam­paspe Shire more than dou­bled (from 93 to 230), stalk­ing, ha­rass­ment and threat­en­ing of­fences rose 42 per cent, while drug use and pos­ses­sion climbed 19 per cent.

The soar­ing crime rate has prompted Mem­ber for Murray Plains Peter Walsh to ac­cuse the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment of fail­ing to do enough.

‘‘The Cam­paspe com­mu­nity isn’t im­mune to the crime wave sweep­ing the state un­der (Pre­mier) Daniel An­drews,’’ Mr Walsh said.

‘‘Daniel An­drews did noth­ing for two years. It it time for this city-cen­tric La­bor Gov­ern­ment to lis­ten to coun­try com­mu­ni­ties that des­per­ately need more po­lice re­sources to deal with ris­ing crime.’’

Ear­lier this month, Mr An­drews an­nounced he would boost Vic­to­ria’s po­lice force by around 20 per cent in an un­prece­dented move to ad­dress ris­ing crime.

But Shadow Min­is­ter for Po­lice Ed­ward O’Dono­hue said more needed to be done.

‘‘Vic­to­ri­ans are less safe be­cause of Daniel An­drews,’’ he said.

‘‘Un­der Daniel An­drews the jus­tice sys­tem is in cri­sis due to weak sen­tenc­ing, wa­tered down bail laws, re­peal of move-on laws, cuts to front­line po­lice and clo­sure of po­lice sta­tions.

‘‘Th­ese statis­tics just con­firm what ev­ery Vic­to­rian al­ready knows; that our com­mu­nity has be­come less safe ... with home in­va­sions, car­jack­ings, drive-by shoot­ings and gangs such as Apex run­ning amok.’’

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