Our community has voice against crime
...feedback helps police, reduces offences
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.