Alpine crime rate reaches decade long high
THE Alpine Shire has experienced a massive 25 per cent crime hike across the 2017/2018 financial year.
Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) last week released the Victorian recorded crime statistics for the year ending June 30 and it revealed a massive 350 criminal incidents in the Alpine Shire compared to 279 the previous year.
The LGA saw 294 crimes committed in the year ending 2016 but the massive 350 figure now makes 2017/2018 the biggest crime year the region has seen since 2009/2010.
A total of 368 offences were recorded in that year up from 353 in 2008/2009.
Since then numbers have consistently been under 330 and even under 300 for the years ending June 30 in 2017 and 2016.
Crimes against the person has seen the most significant increase in the past 12 months with a major jump of 45 per cent from 68 recorded crimes to 99.
Property and deception offences also raised 13.8 per cent while drug offences (52 per cent) and justice procedure offences (80 per cent) saw significant rises albeit from smaller sample sizes.
Total public order and security offences remained at 46 for both years.
The Alpine LGA now sits higher than it’s most comparable nearby region, Indigo, on each major crime category.
This was not the case for the previous year where Indigo topped the Alpine Shire for both theft and burglary categories.
The swing has been significant, particularly in the assault offences category with the Alpine Shire rising 41 per cent in the same timeframe that Indigo has dropped 23 per cent.
However, while the total numbers across the Alpine Shire have risen it must be noted that the total crime rate of 2229.3 per 100,000 people is among the lowest in the state.
Porepunkah’s crime rate of 3400 per 100,000 people for at the end of June 30 has revealed it is the Alpine Shire’s best behaved town.
The growing centre edged out Mt Beauty (3519) for the lowest crime rate while Dederang (4180) and Bright (4738) were a level higher.
Myrtleford remains as the shire’s biggest crime hub after 237 crimes were commit- ted (7422 per 100,000 people).
However, Myrtleford’s crime increase of 18 per cent for 2018 was actually the lowest across the Alpine Shire.
Bright jumped 46 per cent after 114 crimes were recorded compared to 71 last year while Porepunkah went from having 13 crimes committed to 32.
Mt Beauty remained reasonably similar with a jump from 22 to 29 but Dederang saw a significant increase after having 13 offences during 2017/18 period compared to just two the previous year.
It was the first time on re- cord that over 10 crimes had been recorded in the small community of 311 people.
Theft in Myrtleford jumped from 33 to 50 in the past 12 months while Bright saw an increase from 13 to 23 and Porepunkah from two to nine.
Assault and related offences made up 28 per cent of Mt Beauty’s crimes, a figure significantly higher than the shire’s other towns Myrtleford (8%), Bright (16%), Porepunkah (9%) and Dederang (15%).
Drug related offences also rose in each town with Myrtleford seeing a jump from seven to 16.