Sexual offences and breaches of court orders were big drivers behind a recent crime spike across the Macedon Ranges.
New Crime Statistics Agency data released last week showed 2744 offences had been recorded in the year to December 31, up from 2268 the previous year.
Overall, crime in the Ranges rose 21 per cent from 15.8 per cent the year before. The rise in local crime was more than the statewide increase of 10.2 per cent.
Sexual offences more than doubled in the Ranges, from 48 to 104, as did public nuisance offences, up from 16 to 40 (a 150 per cent rise).
Breaches of court orders were another problem area, climbing from 268 to 500 (an increase of 86 per cent) while arson rose from 27 to 43 offences.
Procedures heard in court also rose, from 43 to 78 (81.4 per cent), while there were 172 drug use and possession offences detected in the Macedon Ranges, up 22 per cent.
However, there was a significant drop in deception offences, such as shonky door-to-door sales, down from 175 to 91.
Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp credited the drop to “back to basics” policing that has resulted in more arrests and earlier detection of criminal activities.
The new data showed the number of arrests statewide climbed to a high of 15 per cent.
“It’s about targeting those high-risk recidivist offenders,” Deputy Commissioner Crisp said. “It’s really paying dividends at the moment.
“Our members have never worked harder.
“Victoria Police never has been, and never will be, soft on crime.”
In Sunbury, drug dealing and trafficking, along with breaches of court orders, were behind that town’s slight increase in crime.
The crime agency figures show an increase in offences from 2991 to 3056, up 2.3 per cent in the past year.
There were 39 drug offences recorded, up 34.5 per cent, while justice procedure offences, including breach of court orders, were up from 370 to 489 over the same period (a 32.2 per cent jump). Deception-related offences dropped 30 per cent, down from 198 to 137.
Crime across Hume rose 14.3 per cent overall. Notably, the city recorded the most homicides and violence-related offences of all Melbourne municipalities.
There were 17 homicides and related offences – including murder, manslaughter and culpable driving – committed in Hume last year.
This included a 44-year-old woman found dead on a Sunbury nature strip in April.
A woman, 53, was charged with murder after what was alleged to be a parking dispute.