Decline in crime
Latest figures show lowest crime rate totals in a decade
CRIME in the Indigo Shire is at a 10-year low with the latest Crime Agency Statistics released late last month revealing a major drop in offences for the year ending June 30.
Total offences were down 11 per cent from 461 to 411 in the past 12 months which continues a downward trend since the 2013/14 reporting period.
The biggest contributor to the decrease was from public order and security offences more than halving from 60 incidents to just 25 with disorderly and offensive conduct the lowest it’s been in the last decade.
Property and deception offences is where the next greatest change came from with total offences dropping from 225 to 198.
That included burglaries and break and being enters down from 51 incidents to 35 and deception specific offences lowering from 29 to 13.
Inspector Paul Hargreaves said police were focused on reducing property and theft related offences in the rural communities like those in the Indigo Shire.
“We spend a lot of time and effort on that sort of activity in rural towns,” he said
“People might think that because they live in the country they won’t be a victim and while incidents might be few and far between it’s important to get the message across for people to lock up and keep hidden away things of value to avoid being targeted by burglars.”
While assaults declined from 57 to 41 over the past 12 months, crime against the persons actually climbed the most which was brought on by a 140 percent increase in the number of sexual offences being listed.
However, Insp Hargreaves said the reason for the spike was due to historical reporting of incidents.
“With historical reports there are more and more people coming forward with confidence to report an incident,” he said.
“We encourage that and will always investigate those thoroughly.
“Despite increases like we’ve seen, we see it as a positive that we’re identifying an offender and dealing with cases.”
Across the Indigo Shire all the major centres saw less crime with Rutherglen and Chiltern hitting their lowest marks in the past 10 years while the total number of incidents in Beechworth dropped for the third straight year.
There were just 75 crimes recorded in Rutherglen over the last 12 months after 100 across the 2016/17 year while offences in Chiltern were down from 51 to 44 and 116 to 109 in Beechworth.
After 59 criminal incidents in Barnawartha two years ago there were just 23 to June 20, 2018, a figure that was 20 less than the 12 months prior.
The only increase came at Tangambalanga with a rise in offences from 11 to 29.
In Victoria, recorded offences are the lowest they have been since June 2015 and Insp Hargreaves said it was good to know that the Indigo Shire was contributing to the decline in crime.
“A lot of it is due to some proactive work and a lot of it comes from reporting through members of the public that give us a bit of a tip-off that we can then act on,” he said.
“I would say congratulations to the community, it’s something to celebrate when you see your statistics go down like that and with the overall the state trend down so it’s nice to now we are following that.”