Valley assaults increase

Assaults in the Latrobe Valley continued to climb in the past 12 months, the latest Victoria Police statistics have revealed.

Crime against the person increased by 11.2 per cent between July 2012 and June 2013 as compared with the previous financial year.

More than 1600 assaults were reported, almost half of which related to family violence.

Inspector Mark Langhorn said many local resources were being poured into family violence and the figures indicated victims were more willing to report what was going on in their own homes.

He said other types of assaults could be attributed to alcohol and drug factors and in order to address that, police conducted regular operations around licensed premises, with more planned in the lead-up to football finals.

There were 162 thefts of motor vehicles, a 28.3 per cent drop since the last financial year, which Insp Langhorn said could be attributed to successful operations targeting recidivist offenders.

“One offender could steal 30 cars for the year and (their imprisonment) could have an effect on the numbers.”

Continuous reminders from police for drivers to lock their cars and remove valuable items from sight seem to have paid off, with an 11 per cent drop in thefts from motor vehicles.

“Over the whole year the figures have been down which is a good sign, but it doesn’t mean we need to take our eye off the ball,” Insp Langhorn said.

“We’ve had spikes in theft from motor vehicles recently, particularly in Churchill and Morwell.”

Drug offences increased by 14.9 per cent to 447 for the year, while there were eight road fatalities and a 7.4 per cent drop in road injuries.

While residential burglaries had a 4.8 per cent drop, those from other dwellings including factories and sporting clubs rose by 13.8 per cent.

In his written message to the public, Inspector Mick West urged people to be vigilant in relation to commercial buildings.

“I urge the community to take extra care when securing premises for the night,” Insp West said.

Robbery offences spiked by 37.2 per cent to 59 cases, while there were 1462 reports of property damage, a slight increase on the previous year.

“I remind all citizens to be aware of their surroundings and to take care in isolated areas of our city,” Insp West said.

The recent statistics can be viewed at