Police operations targeting offenders after dark are showing results as Melton’s crime rate falls.

Data released by the Crime Statistics Agency last week revealed an 8.8 per cent fall in offences recorded in the
year to June – to 11,153, down from 12,223.

A main driver behind the drop was a 24.5 per cent decrease in public order and security offences, including decreases in weapons and explosives offences from 488 to 343, public nuisance from 60 to 48 and disorderly and offensive conduct from 162 to 146.

Melton tasking co-ordination Inspector Warren Green said the figures showed that recent police operations in the area were bearing fruit.

“We’re quite pleased to say the least,” Inspector Green said.

“I knew that crime in Melton was down, but it’s pleasing to see that the Crime Statistics Agency figures have come out and we can put to rest some of the myths about what is happening on the ground.”

Inspector Green said that “significant gains” had been made in property crime.

“There has been a significant downturn in thefts (7.4 per cent), burglaries (8.4 per cent) and property damages (9.4 per cent),” he said.

“Across that whole area of property crime, we’ve made a huge impact – primarily around our operations that we’ve been running.

“We’ve had night-time saturations in this police service area targeting offenders that are out after dark.

“We’ve also had use of the air wing with support from state resources to tackle the offending and, by flooding the streets with marked and unmarked cars, we’ve had a marked effect on our crime rates.”

Contrary to the overall fall in crime, robbery spiked to 82 offences, the highest in five years, and abduction and related offences were up to 22 from 15 a year ago.

Sexual offences detected in Melton climbed 15.7 per cent.

A wave of home invasions in Melton earlier this year were reflected in the latest robbery figures, which revealed a 57.1 per cent rise in aggravated robbery, Inspector Green said.

“We’ve seen a change in offending patterns with some of our offenders,” he said.

“They’re becoming more opportunistic … we have operations running at the moment to target

“We’d encourage people to be out with others when they’re going out at vulnerable times.

“If something is not quite right, call the police so we can get someone down there.”

Meanwhile, Moorabool crime has risen by 8.2 per cent, driven by justice procedures (up 66.1 per cent), dangerous and negligent acts endangering people (up 42.6 per cent) and stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour (up 29.2 per cent).