By Alesha Capone
The number of home invasions recorded in the west has fallen by about a third within 12 months, as Victoria Police “relentlessly” hunt down offenders who commit the crimes.
In December 2016, the state government made home invasions a specific offence under the Crimes Act, defined as when a person, in the company of others, commits a burglary while armed or while there is a person in the house.
According to the state’s Crime Statistics Agency, there were 91 home invasions in the west reported to police between December 2016 and September 2017, including 38 in Brimbank, 23 in Melton, 20 in Wyndham and 11 in Maribyrnong (there were none reported in Hobsons Bay).
In comparison, between October 2017 and September last year, there were 61 home invasions recorded in the west – 27 in Brimbank, 21 in Melton, nine in Wyndham, two in Maribyrnong and two in Hobsons Bay.
Between October 2017 and September last year, Brimbank and Melton recorded the highest and second-highest amount of home invasions out of all Victoria’s municipalities.
Wyndham recorded the equal fifth-highest amount of home invasions, along with Hume and Greater Dandenong, with each municipality experiencing nine home invasions across the 12 months.
Acting Superintendent Adrian Healy said it was “pleasing” to see a decrease in the number of home invasions but “any incident is one too many”.
“The emotional toll this type of offending has on victims is enormous,” he said.
“Over the past two years we have increased the number of proactive patrols in key hotspots – particularly in the west – and have a dedicated team of detectives responsible for this type of offending.
“This hard work is paying off and we are arresting offenders in record numbers – in fact, Victoria Police is relentlessly investigating and hunting down these particular offenders.
“The community can be reassured that our police will continue to work tirelessly and prioritise this issue so everyone can feel safe in their own home and community.”