Brimbank has one of the highest rates of vandalism in the state.
The Crime Statistics Agency’s (CSA) figures for the 12 months to March 31 reveal Melbourne’s north-west has consistently recorded the greatest number of property damage offences in Victoria.
Arson was also up almost 100 per cent, but the number of sexual offences and burglaries declined.
Detective Senior Sergeant Matthew Baynes, of the Brimbank crime investigation unit, said most vandalism offences were “low-level” damage, such as graffiti, tagging or smashing of car windows.
He said while property damage offences had gone up almost 11 per cent in Brimbank, this was still below the 2013 level.
“We’ve seen a levelling out of property damage,” he said. “It’s stabilised over the four-year period.”
Almost half of Brimbank vandalism offences occurred at private homes, while one in three was committed at a public location.
Across the board, crime in Brimbank was up 10.8 per cent, with 19,215 offences cited in the latest CSA report.
Detective Senior Sergeant Haynes said while the overall rate of crime for the 12 month period was up, it was still below the year beginning April 1, 2013, when Brimbank had 19,507 offences.
Thefts went up by about 11 per cent in the 12 months to March 31, while weapons and explosives offences rose 35 per cent.
The spike was due to in increase in the number of properties and cars searched for illegal and unregistered weapons, Detective Senior Sergeant Baynes explained.
“We’ve been able to detect more drugs and weapons and we’ve had an enormous reduction in high-victim-impact crime.
“Brimbank’s statistically a much safer place than it has been.”
He said the rise in arson offences was mainly due to stolen cars being set alight and bin fires.
A spate of bin fires in Deer Park and a series of minor fires along Kororoit Creek over summer featured prominently in the arson statistics.