Our com­mu­nity has voice against crime

...feed­back helps po­lice, re­duces of­fences

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Front Page - BY STEVE KELLY skelly@ne­me­dia.com.au

PUB­LIC feed­back has played a key role in the lat­est drop in Wan­garatta’s crime sta­tis­tics, ac­cord­ing to po­lice. Wan­garatta po­lice ser­vice and lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas ex­pe­ri­enced an over­all 5.9 per cent drop in crime in the 12 months to June 30, based on Crime Sta­tis­tics Agency data. And Wan­garatta Lo­cal Area Com­man­der, In­spec­tor Ker­rie Hicks, said much of the suc­cess comes from con­tin­u­ally im­prov­ing crime man­age­ment strate­gies which rely heav­ily on the com­mu­nity shar­ing their in­for­ma­tion with po­lice. Insp Hicks said this timely in­for­ma­tion is crit­i­cal to po­lice’s task­ing and co­or­di­na­tion process to en­sure of­fi­cers are in the right place at the right time. She said com­mu­nity mem­bers can ei­ther anony­mously re­port in­ci­dents via Crime Stop­pers or by speak­ing with of­fi­cers at the po­lice sta­tion. Crimes against the per­son de­creased slightly in 2018, a fac­tor that In­spec­tor Hicks was pleased with.

“The re­duc­tions in crimes against the per­son, for ex­am­ple as­saults (de­crease from 237 to 210), are al­ways the most pleas­ing to see as these crimes cause sig­nif­i­cant harm to vic­tims,” she said.

“It is also very pleas­ing to see the re­duc­tions in prop­erty crimes, for ex­am­ple bur­glar­ies (down 39) and thefts (down 44).”

She said these of­fence cat­e­gories re­quire con­stant mon­i­tor­ing and more of­ten than not are op­por­tunis­tic crimes.

“The best preven­tion strat­egy for these is to en­sure there is no op­por­tu­nity and it re­quires the on­go­ing com­mit­ment from our com­mu­nity mem­bers to en­sure they are not leav­ing valu­ables within view and are lock­ing their ve­hi­cles and doors,” Insp Hicks urged.

Sex­ual of­fences in­creased in 2018 (from 40 to 54 of­fences) but Insp Hicks noted that they re­late to some his­tor­i­cal re­port­ing.

“While we never want any­one to ex­pe­ri­ence this of­fend­ing it is not un­com­mon to see his­tor­i­cal re­port­ing in this crime cat­e­gory,” she said.

“We wel­come any­one who is ready to re­port a crime of this na­ture to see us when they are ready.”

Insp Hicks said Vic­to­ria Po­lice has pro­duced a ter­rific Pod­cast “Un­speak­able” which she en­cour­ages ev­ery­one to lis­ten to.

“While these crime re­duc­tions are ter­rific to see we will con­tinue to main­tain our vig­i­lance so that our com­mu­nity is not only safe, but feels safe,” she said.

“Preven­tion and early in­ter­ven­tion is our fo­cus and it is a whole of com­mu­nity ef­fort.

“I thank our po­lice team for the great work that they do and also to our com­mu­nity for their on­go­ing sup­port and ask that they con­tinue to play their in­te­gral part in achiev­ing pos­i­tive com­mu­nity safety out­comes for ev­ery­one.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about crime preven­tion and com­mu­nity safety go to https://www.po­lice.vic.gov.au/con­tent.asp?Doc­u­men­t_ID=9539.

POS­I­TIVE RE­SULTS: In­spec­tor Ker­rie Hicks is pleased with a drop in crime and thanks the com­mu­nity for the part they play in re­port­ing and preven­tion.

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