Drug offences and breaches of court orders are behind a massive 77 per cent annual spike in Sunbury’s crime rate.
Data released by the Crime Statistics Agency last Thursday reveals 3208 offences were recorded in the year to June 30 – up from 1807.
The 260 drug offences in Sunbury represented a 150 per cent increase over the same year.
Justice procedures, including breach of court orders, also soared: from 87 to 576 cases over the same period, a hike of more than 560 per cent.
Deception-related offences climbed almost 230 per cent, from 62 to 202, while theft rose from 538 cases to 928 (72.5 per cent).
Across Hume, the overall crime rate rose 18 per cent.
The new figures come after the police union rejected calls earlier this year for Diggers Rest to be transferred from the Melton police service area into Sunbury’s. The union claimed it would put more pressure on Sunbury officers already dealing with soaring call-outs.
Sunbury police station already closes on occasions due to a lack of staff, but officers can still be contacted via intercom and phone.
Western Metropolitan MP Bernie Finn lashed out, saying the latest crime statistics showed a failure by the government to maintain law and order. As well as Sunbury’s soaring crime rate, Diggers Rest, Bulla and Clarkefield also recorded increases.
Mr Finn said “crime rates are up and police numbers are down”.
“What that tells us, and it’s been happening with monotonous regularity, is that [Premier] Daniel Andrews continues to ignore the good people of our area,” he said.
“The figures in the Sunbury electorate are alarming, particularly in my home town of Bulla, which recorded a staggering increase of 141 per cent.
“How can we fight crime when we don’t have the manpower necessary to do it? We now have a situation where drug dealing and trafficking, weapons and explosives offences, assault and related offences have all risen under Labor, not to mention home invasions and car-jackings.
“It’s very clear that Daniel Andrews and his government have failed to maintain any form of law and order. Something must be done to protect our community.”
Overall crime in the Macedon Ranges was up 12 per cent, from 2248 offences to 2512.
Breaches of court orders rose 62 per cent, from 288 to 466; arson climbed from 28 to 37 cases; and drug trafficking and dealing also increased, from 33 to 51 offences.