Brimbank police will focus on public education in a bid to reduce the number of robberies in the area.

Crime statistics released for the year ending September 2018 show crimes against the person rose to 2981 offences, a jump from 2737 at the same time in 2017.

Brimbank local area commander Terry West said the rise was due to a spike in robberies.

“Generally a lot of these crimes are street robberies so we’ll focus on educating the public,” he said.

“They typically occur around transport hubs etc, so it’ll be mostly about making sure people are cautious, rather than concerned.”

Assault and related offences rose by 68 in the past year. Dangerous and negligent acts endangering people, which fall into the crimes against the person category, rose by 52 offences.

There was also a spike in thefts, which jumped to 6385 offences from 5789.

Stalking and harassment offences also rose dramatically, up to 470 from 333, however Inspector West said there was a good reason for the spike.

“We’ve got a dedicated family violence team in Caroline Springs targeting recidivist offenders,” he said.

“We’ve seen a spike in reported offences from their efforts, so there’s a jump, but there’s a good reason for it – I liken it to good cholesterol.

“Once these people have undergone education, we’re hopeful those figures will start to drop.”

Drug offences also rose, largely due to a jump in use and possession offences, however drug dealing and trafficking fell to its lowest number since 2011.

Offences relating to cultivating or manufacturing drugs were at a 10-year low.

Inspector West said the key drops in those offences was the result of continued targeted policing.

“Drugs are still a major target for our CIU team, who have been working with the local council,” he said.

“While there’s been a continued effort to target drugs, things like the increased lighting and street beautification in Sunshine has certainly helped our efforts.”

Police were also pleased to see the number of sexual offences in Brimbank drop.

There were 355 sexual offences within the municipality last year, down from 367 the year before, however the number was still the second highest recorded since 2009.

There was also a significant drop in weapons and explosives offences with 663 offences, the lowest recorded since 2014.

While police were pleased with a number of key improvements, overall crime rose with 6900 offences recorded, up from 6379 in 2017.