Rise in local crime

By Olivia Duffey

Local crime has dropped in five of the 17 major offence categories, but has increased in 12 categories.

Overall, crime is  higher than last year, according to a recently released Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research report.

From 2017 to 2018, crime had only increased in eight major offence categories, but the 2018 to 2019 report shows an increase in 12 of the categories.

Using police data from the 12 months to the end of June 2019, the report indicates the biggest increase in crime in the Edward River local government area was in the ‘steal from dwelling’ category.

It showed a concerning double number of offences, jumping from 21 in 2018 to 42 this year.

The other three major increases were in ‘break and enter dwelling’ which increased from 29 to 47, and ‘break and enter non-dwelling’ which increased from 17 to 31. Fraud increased from 27 to 40.

The report showed domestic violence related assault increased by 11 from 44 to 55, steal from motor vehicle by 10 (36 to 46), motor vehicle theft by four (six to 10), robbery without a weapon (zero to two), steal from retail store by two (21 to 23) and robbery with a firearm by one (zero to one).

The biggest drop in crime in the area was in the ‘malicious damage to property’ category. In the 12 months to June 2018 the report said there were 99 reports in this category, and this was down to 85 to June 2019.

Sexual assault also dropped dramatically, from 16 incidents to June 2018 down to seven by June 2019.

The two annual reports also show a reduction in indecent assault, act of indecency and other sexual offences from 12 to nine, and slightly smaller reduction in the number of non-domestic violence related assault going from 32 to 31.

Robbery with a weapon not a firearm and steal from person both dropped from one to zero.

Local crime statistics remain on zero for the most serious offence — murder — and it was the only stable statistic.