Brimbank crime rate up

By Tate Papworth

Crime rates rose by 11 per cent across Brimbank in the year to December, 2018, new figures show.

Data released by the Crime Statistics agency last week reveals a total on 19,045 criminal offences were recorded across the municipality in that period, a jump from the 17,150 recorded in the year to December, 2017.

Acting Inspector Terry West said a spike in justice procedure offences was the main reason for the jump.

“We’ve had an increase in breaches of orders, which relates to bail offences and breaches of intervention orders,” he said.

He linked the rise in breaches, which jumped from 2421 offences to 3067, with a concerted effort by police to crack down on domestic violence.

“Stalking and harassment numbers jumped from 353 to 511, which is consistent with what we’ve seen since the introduction of our dedicated family violence investigative team,” he said.

“We’re seeing more people reporting these cases, which obviously raises the numbers and translates to breach of orders such as intervention orders.”

Crimes against the person showed a 3.4 per cent spike.

Police have begun targeting assaults and robberies at transport hubs in recent months, and Acting Inspector West admitted it was an ongoing problem.

“It’s a constant issue around transport hubs,” he said. “We find that because they’re so busy and have a large volume of traffic coming through them, that we see spikes. We’re definitely working closely on the issue.”

Another area Brimbank police have focused on is petrol theft.

“We began targeting petrol theft in Brimbank about nine months ago after a successful program which was run in Melton,” Acting Inspector West said.

“It’s certainly bearing fruit, particularly in catching recidivist offenders … we expect that to be represented in an increase in recorded incidents going forward.”

There was also good news in the Brimbank police’s war on drugs, with recorded offences across the municipality rising by just 12.