Alpine crime rate reaches decade long high

Myrtleford Times - - News - BY TATE SPI­TERI

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.

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