Mans­field crime on the de­cline

Four per cent de­crease in the last 12 months

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE -

THE crime rate in Mans­field has dropped by al­most four per cent over the last year, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from the Crime Sta­tis­tics Agency (CSA).

Mans­field po­lice recorded a to­tal of 453 in­ci­dents in the 12 months end­ing in March, 18 fewer than the 471 recorded the year be­fore.

Of those pro­cessed, some 272 in­ci­dents were recorded for prop­erty theft and de­cep­tion, with 74 cases for crimes against a per­son and 45 cases for pub­lic or­der and se­cu­rity.

Only 16 drug re­lated of­fences were recorded over the last 12 months.

Se­nior Sergeant Damien Kee­gan of Mans­field po­lice said that any re­duc­tion in crime was good news.

“A de­crease is a de­crease – it’s great go­ing for­ward,” Snr Sgt Kee­gan said.

Snr Sgt Kee­gan said the spike in 2017 – which rose 11 per cent from 2016 – was due to a spate of break-ins across the shire.

“We un­for­tu­nately had a lot of bur­glar­ies within the area – that’s where our stats were up,” he said.

“Now, we are get­ting a lot more in­for­ma­tion from the com­mu­nity – what they’ve seen around town.

“Those small lit­tle bits of the jig­saw puz­zle greatly as­sist us in solv­ing crime.”

Snr Sgt Kee­gan said that many of the thefts in Mans­field were com­mit­ted “by peo­ple feed­ing ad­dic­tions; al­co­hol, drugs, gam­bling”, but that the new pro­grams be­ing run by the Mans­field Hospi­tal (Restart) should see a re­duc­tion in cases over the com­ing months.

“If we can link those com­mit­ting the crime and those with ad­dic­tions into these ser­vices – it’ll be pre­ven­tion in the long run,” he said.

“We can as­sist them (of­fend­ers) as a com­mu­nity, with their ad­dic­tion, and what we will hope­fully see is a fur­ther de­crease in our crime.”

Over the next 12 months, Snr Sgt Kee­gan said lo­cal of­fi­cers would be con­tin­u­ing to tar­get il­le­gal deer poach­ing as well as en­cour­ag­ing the com­mu­nity to re­port sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour.

The Be­nalla, Strath­bo­gie and Wan­garatta shires also recorded small de­creases in the crime rate for the same pe­riod, with Mur­rindindi ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a slight rise in crime over the last 12 months.

The Crime Sta­tis­tics Agency pub­lishes recorded crime sta­tis­tics ev­ery quar­ter.

Ac­cess to the sta­tis­tics on crim­i­nal in­ci­dents and of­fences can be found at www.crimes­tatis­

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