Stats show crime drop

Assaults, burglaries and drug offences have decreased across the Latrobe Valley in the past 12 months according to fresh data released by Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency.

Latrobe Local Area Commander Inspector Rob Wallace was pleased with the overall drop but said there was still plenty of work to be done.

Drug dealing and trafficking offences also dropped 31.1 per cent while burglary and break and enters decreased 6.7 per cent to the year ending 31 June 2017.

“This is a result of a lot of work and some legislation changes that have given police some increased powers to address our crime issues,” Insp Wallace said.

“Whilst these results are encouraging, we’re not going to take our foot off the pedal because our aim is to continually reduce crime and make the liveability of our areas better.”

Sexual offences in the Latrobe local government area increased 15.8 per cent from 367 to 425 cases reported to police while robbery also rose by 53.2 per cent – or by 25 separate incidents reported.

Insp Wallace said a rise in sexual offences was related to an increase in reporting of historical incidents.

“Robberies are up but it’s more so that the actual incidents are similar, for instance one offender committing a robbery when there’s more than one victim,” Insp Wallace said.

“So in some cases an offender will approach two or three people and steal from a group rather than just one person.”

It comes as robberies, sexual offences and negligent acts rose across Victoria last financial year while arson and drug possession and use dropped by four per cent.

Disorderly and offensive conduct and public nuisance offences also dropped in Latrobe while breaches of orders decreased slightly by 2.8 per cent.

“Our public order in general is down and that’s due to an increase in vigilant police presence and policing around our local licensed areas,” Insp Wallace said.

In Baw Baw, similar results were recorded with property and deception offences, drug-related crimes and public order and security offences rating lower than this time last year.

“Police are satisfied and pleased to see a reduction in crime but we want to see the decline and improvement continue,” Insp Wallace said.