Police operations are bearing fruit as Melton’s crime rates continue to fall.
Data released by the Crime Statistics Agency last Thursday revealed a 10.5 per cent fall in offences, from 12,282 to 10,994, recorded in the year to September.
The main drivers behind the tumbling crime rates were significant drops in property and deception offences (7545 to 6367), drug offences (644 to 456) and public order and security offences (712 to 521).
Criminal property damage offences decreased from 929 to 851 (9.1 per cent), stealing from motor vehicles from 1538 to 1267 (21.3 per cent) and drug trafficking from 110 to 62 ( 77 per cent).
Caroline Springs Detective Inspector David Byrt said the latest statistics showed that recent police operations in the area were effective.
“With specific tasking, we’ve deployed our resources to particular hotspots, or high-risk community locations like Melton CBD and shopping centres, and also to particular persons known to be engaged in those kinds of offending,” Inspector Byrt said.
However, sexual offences climbed from 197 to 260, the highest in five years.
Inspector Byrt said changes in legislation had lead to an increase in reporting.
“For example, school teachers have to report what they believe to be crimes against children, so we’re seeing an increase in reporting as a result,” he said.
“A significant amount of that offending is historical offending. There has also been significant publicity of the Royal Commission into institutionalised sex offending and that has driven the increase in reporting.”
Aggravated robbery was also up to 80 recorded incidents from 53 a year ago, while breaches of family violence orders soared to 1310 from 972 (up 25.8 per cent).
“We’ve got a very specific focus in this whole division with a dedicated family violence team who are very effective at driving our response to people who are breaching family violence orders, which is contributing to our success in that area,” Inspector Byrt said.
“We do see it as a success because it means that we’re on top of family violence offending.
“Robberies is an area that we are continuing to focus on. We’re not satisfied with that increase at all.
“We have a significant number of resources dedicated to that type of offending.”