Brimbank bucks crime trends

By Ewen McRae

Crime is up in Brimbank despite an overall drop across the state, according to the latest figures.

Data from the Crime Statistics Agency shows overall offences in Brimbank jumped by 2.35 per cent (13,920 offences to 14,247) in the year to June 30, 2018, however it is still well behind the record high of 2016 (15,296 offences).

While overall crime levels were up, there were significant decreases in key areas, such as burglary/break and enter (down 6.9 per cent), drug dealing and trafficking (down 9.86 per cent) and disorderly conduct (down 11.2 per cent).

The biggest increases came in breaches of orders (up 19.5 per cent), assault (up 7.2 per cent), sexual offences (up 28.5 per cent) and robbery (up 15.6 per cent).

It is only the second time since 2013 that offence rates have increased in Brimbank.

Crime across the state has fallen by 5.6 per cent overall.

Crime Statistics Agency chief statistician Fiona Dowsley said the statewide figures showed general improvements in the past 12 months.

“The Victorian victimisation rate is the lowest in five years, and the alleged offender figures are the highest seen in Crime Statistics Agency data holdings, which go back to July, 2004,” Ms Dowsley said.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said the fall in the number of youth offenders in the crime statistics was one of the most pleasing aspects, as was a drop in crime generally across the region.

“Over the past five years we’ve seen a reduction from 20 per cent of our offenders being young people, to now just 16 per cent,” Ms Neville said. “The ones who are offending are offending more, but in these figures we’ve seen a small reduction in the recidivism rate.

“The north-west region, which is our biggest contributor to crime, has also seen a 6 per cent drop since 2011, while the western region has also fallen 10.5 per cent.”