Crime in Melton has jumped more than 10 per cent, according to the latest figures.
According to the Crime Statistics Agency, Melton recorded a 10.3 per cent jump in offences in the year to September 2019, with more than 1100 additional offences than recorded for the previous 12 month period.
It’s the first time in three years the crime rate has increased since a record year of 2016.
Melton was the hardest hit suburb, with 2115 offences recorded in the 12 month period to September 2019, while Melton South (1864 offences) and Melton West (1810) also recorded high numbers.
Of the 11,748 offences recorded in Melton, 4904 occurred in the home, with breaches of family violence orders the biggest offence in the year (1405 offences), followed by theft and criminal damage.
Melton area commander Zorka Dunstan said a new online reporting system had contributed to the rise, while high population growth in the area was also a factor.
“We anticipated there would be a rise with this new system, and that’s come to be,” Inspector Dunstan said.
“Where previously a lot of crime would go unreported because people may not come into the station, having the online reporting obviously means we see a jump in some areas, but also it means we collect more intelligence and can target areas better.
“A lot comes back to population growth, with so many new estates popping up. If you look at our crime compared to 2016, it is down significantly now, so even with this jump it’s a
lot lower than it was previously.”
Inspector Dunstan said the high number of family violence offences was always seen as a positive.
“It means people are more confident in reporting their breaches or coming to police with these matters,” she said.
“We don’t see increases in that as a negative, if anything it means the message is getting out to the community and we’re holding people to account.”