THEFT: UP 139% CRIME: UP 64%

It’s no won­der peo­ple don’t feel safe in Rochy, says MP

Campaspe News - - FRONT PAGE - By VIVI­ENNE DUCK

THIEVES are out of con­trol in Rochester.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est crime statis­tics, theft in the 3561 post­code has risen 139.2 per cent in the 12 months to June.

The to­tal crime rate has in­creased by 64.4 per cent.

Within the Cam­paspe Shire, theft is our most preva­lent crime with 1,083 of­fences recorded — a 25 per cent jump from the pre­vi­ous year.

Bur­glar­ies and break and en­ters are also oc­cur­ring across Cam­paspe at a rate of more than one a day, with 394 of­fences — an in­crease of 14 per cent.

And Cam­paspe po­lice In­spec­tor Ge­off Owen is not happy about it.

‘‘Bur­glary and theft data is a trend that has in­creased and Cam­paspe po­lice con­tinue to un­der­take dis­rup­tion ac­tiv­ity against our known thieves and burglars, mak­ing them keep their head low,’’ he said.

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately a lot of the smaller prop­erty thefts that make up the per­cent­age in­crease are op­por­tunis­tic and from unlocked and un­se­cure lo­ca­tions.

‘‘Po­lice are try­ing their hard­est to drive down theft, but the com­mu­nity also have a role to play by safe­guard­ing and mak­ing their prop­erty as se­cure and safe as pos­si­ble.

‘‘The vast ma­jor­ity of theft from mo­tor ve­hi­cle comes from unlocked ve­hi­cles as an ex­am­ple of where the com­mu­nity can pro­tect it­self.’’

There have been 122 thefts in Rochester this year (51 ar­rests in 2016).

Bur­glar­ies and break and en­ters have risen by 71 per cent, with 53 recorded this year.

Peo­ple are scared and some­thing needs to be done about it — Pe­ter Walsh

Drug use and pos­ses­sion is down 66 per cent to just four (15 ar­rests in 2016).

Mem­ber for Mur­ray Plains Pe­ter Walsh said it is ‘‘con­cern­ing that peo­ple don’t feel safe any more’’.

‘‘What the chief com­mis­sioner said about polic­ing in the Cam­paspe re­gion be­ing ad­e­quate is wrong and th­ese statis­tics prove that,’’ he said.

‘‘There needs to be more polic­ing across the board.

‘‘I think if you walk down the street of Rochester and ask the peo­ple this is very real.’’

Mr Walsh said coun­try towns have lost a great at­tribute of se­cu­rity.

‘‘You used to be able to not lock your car or house or have to have CCTV be­cause you were safe — we have lost that,’’ he said.

‘‘Peo­ple are scared and some­thing needs to be done about it.’’

Insp Owen said it was a ‘‘con­cern’’ to Cam­paspe po­lice that cer­tain crime of­fences within the shire have risen in the past 12 months.

‘‘How­ever I also look at the over­all crime trend for Cam­paspe which in­di­cates a small de­crease of 0.3 per cent,’’ he said.

‘‘I would like to see a larger de­crease, how­ever I am happy to see over­all crime flat­line rather than in­crease.’’

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