The crime stats wor­ry­ing po­lice

Sunshine Coast Daily - - NEWS - CHLOE LYONS chloe.lyons@sc­news.com.au

NEW statis­tics have Sun­shine Coast po­lice wor­ried about ris­ing lev­els of vi­o­lence, but the as­saults aren’t hap­pen­ing in the places you’d ex­pect.

The An­nual Statis­tics Re­view has just been re­leased and its re­vealed of­fences against the per­son have in­creased by 29.3% in the past year.

Sun­shine Coast Dis­trict Of­fi­cer Su­per­in­ten­dent Dar­ryl John­son said de­spite the be­lief most vi­o­lence was al­co­hol fu­elled, as­saults near li­censed venues had de­creased.

“Anec­do­tally, we would sug­gest that as­saults oc­cur when peo­ple are af­fected by al­co­hol... but that’s not the case,” he said.

“And that’s a real credit to our li­cenced premises.

“They’re oc­cur­ring in the home, they’re oc­cur­ring in pub­lic spa­ces.”

The in­crease in as­saults could also be put down to more peo­ple re­port­ing to po­lice and a fo­cus on fam­ily vi­o­lence pro­grams, ac­cord­ing to Supt John­son.

“Are they (as­saults) oc­cur­ring more? I’d say yes,” he said.

“But, part of that is our com­mu­nity have a con­fi­dence in re­port­ing some of those to po­lice.

“Our do­mes­tic vi­o­lence fo­cus has in­creased our as­sault re­port­ing marginally, but not to the ex­tent of the 30% in­crease that we’ve seen across this dis­trict.”

Un­law­ful en­try to shops, homes and cars has pre­sented a chal­lenge for po­lice over the past year, but a tar­geted fo­cus on the solv­ing those types of crimes and com­mu­nity aware­ness have helped keep “a lid on it”, Supt John­son said.

“That’s re­ally pleas­ing from my per­spec­tive,” he

said.

“We have a very ac­tive CIB and prop­erty team on the Coast who tar­get some of our re­cidi­vist of­fend­ers.

“Our prop­erty crime has re­mained fairly static... with some re­ally good clear-ups.”

Ac­cord­ing to the stats, over­all prop­erty crime have in­creased by 6.9% with un­law­ful en­try to houses in­creas­ing by 12.7% and un­law­ful en­try into shops and other premises de­creas­ing by 22.1 and 12.8% re­spec­tively.

Over­all the crime rate has in­creased by 3.5%.

One thing that is dra­mat­i­cally chang­ing is the amount of crim­i­nals trav­el­ling to the Coast to com­mit crimes and the sever­ity of those crimes.

“It still amazes me how brazen some of these crim­i­nals are,” Supt John­son said.

“What we’ve seen over the last 12 months es­pe­cially, of­fend­ers trav­el­ling from the South of this dis­trict from Bris­bane and Gold Coast... to the Sun­shine Coast to com­mit crime.

“It’s pretty at­trac­tive for an of­fender to travel that high­way and re­turn home.”

While car keys used to be con­sid­ered safe if locked in­side the home, an in­crease of cars be­ing stolen dur­ing break-ins and used to com­mit fur­ther crimes means more ex­treme mea­sures need to be taken to se­cure ve­hi­cles.

“It’s frus­trat­ing for po­lice to at­tend crimes in which we con­sider to be pre­ventable with sim­ple strate­gies,” Supt John­son said.

“There’s some sim­ple steps for our com­mu­nity to pre­vent crime oc­cur­ring and that’s around lock­ing your houses and mak­ing sure ve­hi­cles are locked.”

Any­one want­ing to re­port a crime or sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity is urged to con­tact Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000 or Po­licelink on 13 14 44.

Anec­do­tally, we would sug­gest that as­saults oc­cur when peo­ple are af­fected by al­co­hol... but that’s not the case. — Sun­shine Coast Dis­trict Of­fi­cer Su­per­in­ten­dent Dar­ryl John­son

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