Sunshine has recorded one of the highest numbers of bail breaches in Victoria.
Statistics released by the Crime Statistics Agency Victoria revealed that the suburb recorded 521 breaches of bail for the year ending in June.
The number places Sunshine as the fifth highest for bail offences in Victoria behind Melbourne (1303), Frankston (658), Heidelberg (573) and Ringwood (565).
Victoria Police says the high number can largely be attributed to the suburb’s court house.
Sunshine, as with other areas with magistrates courts, has a higher number of people breaching bail conditions by not attending court as required, police say.
However, suburbs surrounding Sunshine – such as Keilor Downs (42), St Albans (26), Caroline Springs (22), Deer Park (20) and Braybrook (16) – recorded relatively high numbers of breaches without having a court house.
“Beyond court attendance, a vast range of bail conditions can be set and include curfews, requirements to reside at a particular address or reporting requirements,” a police spokesperson said.
“These conditions are set to help ensure the safety of the public and help ensure that the alleged offender complies with the justice process.”
Police say there is no cause for the community to be concerned.
“Local police, including those in Brimbank, target offenders wanted for failing to answer bail, prioritising offenders identified as being a high-risk to the community,” the police spokesperson said.
“The addition of protective services officers in and around the public transport network has also led to an increase in the identification of individuals wanted on warrants for various offences, including breaching bail.”
In total there were 14,075 bail breaches across Victoria for the 12-month period ending June.
The number is a big drop from the 18,940 recorded in 2015 – however police say the number is still too high as bail breaches are easily avoided.
“People who know they have outstanding warrants should come forward rather than wait to get caught,” the police spokesperson said.
“If someone has an outstanding warrant and wishes to avoid being arrested – potentially in front of their family – they should attend a station and get the matter sorted.”