Latrobe second worst for crime

Bryce Eishold

Latrobe recorded the second highest crime rate in the state behind Melbourne despite an overall drop in crime across Victoria in the past 12 months, new data released last week shows.

It also remains the highest local government area in the state in family violence incidents, recording more than 700 separate incidents, ahead of Mildura and Benalla in second and third respectively.

Data released by the Crime Statistics Agency revealed Latrobe recorded increases in crimes against a person, like sexual assaults, however, there were slight drops in burglaries and theft-related incidents.

Crime Statistics Agency chief statistician Fiona Dowsley said Latrobe recorded the state’s highest rate of family violence incidents – up 4.3 per cent on the previous year.

“When we look at the offences themselves for some of the major categories the majority end up being family violence-related, in particular in assault-related offences,” Ms Dowsley said.

“For both serious and common assaults, more than half are family violence-related and for common assault two thirds of that would be family violence-related.”

Serious assaults are classified as “actual bodily harm, wounding” while common assault is classified as a less serious assault.

Overall, there were 307 fewer criminal incidents recorded in the year ending June 2018 compared to the previous financial year, despite increases in drug and property offences such as arson and property damage.

The region also recorded increases in assaults against emergency service workers – up 29 incidents this year – while aggravated robbery dropped slightly .

There were also slight drops recorded in residential aggravated burglaries and thefts from motor vehicles while drug possession and trafficking rose slightly.