Thefts and drug offences have driven a four per cent increase in recorded crime in Whittlesea and Hume in the 12 months to June, new data reveals.
Latest figures from the Crime Statistics Agency show there were 16,038 recorded offences in Whittlesea in the year to June 30, up from 15,396 in the 12 months to June 30, 2018.
Hume police recorded 21,086 offences in the 12 months to June 30, up from 20,230 in June 2018. Thefts rose by four per cent in both municipalities, driven by motor vehicle thefts. In Hume, motor vehicle thefts rose 3 per cent from 1158 at June 2018 to 1192 by June this year.
Whittlesea recorded a 13.5 per cent rise in motor vehicle thefts in the 12 months to June, with 766 offences recorded by police.
Crime Statistics Agency data also reveals a rise in thefts from retail stores in Whittlesea. Offences rose 13 per cent in the year to June, with 878 incidents recorded.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said increases in shop stealing were a high priority.
“We’ve recently seen a lot of publicity [about swarming] … where we have seen youth go in en masse,” he said. “We realise we need to do more and we are. It’s a significant issue. That’s an area of focus for us moving forward.”
Both municipalities also recorded surges in drug offences. In Hume, drug use and possession offences rose by 52 per cent from 894 at June 2018 to 1181 at June 30 this year.
Drug use and possession offences rose by 34 per cent in Whittlesea, up from 523 at June 2018 to 700 by June this year.