Wyndham crime has shot up by almost 20 per cent in the past year.
New data released by the Crime Statistics Agency reveals crime across the city rose from 12,820 offences in the year to March 31, 2015 to 15,353 in the following 12 months.
Homicide and related offences doubled from seven to 14.
And there was a particularly large jump in property and deception offences between April 2015 and March 2016, including rises in theft and burglary offences, and arson.
Increases in assaults, drug offences, breaches of orders, stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour also contributed to the rise. The figures come a fortnight after Wyndham police’s Inspector Frank Sells announced that a 10-week Wyndham police operation to reduce the crime rate would be extended.
Since March 31, police in the Westgate division – including Footscray, Williamstown and Altona North stations – have worked in the operation alongside Wyndham’s police community safety team, burglary unit, motor vehicle crime reduction team, and uniform police.
Wyndham’s Acting Inspector Peter Bitton said he was disappointed but not surprised by the crime spike.
He said even Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton “acknowledges that we may see continued rises over the coming 12 months”, particularly in theft and youth offending.
Acting Inspector Bitton said the jump in homicide and related offences – which include murder, attempted murder, culpable driving and incitement to murder – included the deaths of three children in April last year, when the car they were travelling in plunged into a Wyndham Vale lake.
“In addition to the increased effort on investigation and enforcement, Wyndham police will continue to work with its partners, including Wyndham council, to ensure proactive projects are established that prevent crime in the first instance,” Acting Inspector Bitton said. “One such initiative is Safe Plate, to reduce the instance of number plate theft by securing plates with anti-theft screws.
“Number plate theft is usually the start of a series of offences, leading to other property crimes, traffic violations and petrol theft.
“Wyndham provides many challenges for local police. As well as providing a visible police presence, attending calls for assistance, enforcing road laws and supporting community safety programs, we have had an increased focus on family violence with a view to supporting both victims and families involved in this offending.”