Victoria Police crime statistics released

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THERE was 496,589 criminal offences recorded in Victoria in the 12 months to March 2023, representing an increase of 26,424 offences or 5.6 per cent from the previous year.

When population growth is considered, overall crime increases by 3.5 per cent. Overall crime still remained 9.1 per cent below pre-COVID levels.

Overall, crimes against people climbed by 3.2 per cent yearly, with assaults and dangerous driving offences leading to an increase. Stalking and harassment, rape, and sex crimes against children were among the crimes to be reduced.

Key trends included:

A rise in assaults was the primary driver in an increase against the person. With overall assaults increasing 5.1 per cent year-on-year;

Non-family violence common assaults saw the sharpest rise (an increase of 14.9 per cent), while family violence common assaults and non-family violence serious assaults saw slight increases from the previous year;

Location of assaults was found to be most frequent in licensed venues;

Victoria Police Media stated it was encouraging to see decreases in family violence serious assaults (down by 3.6 per cent from last year) and assaults against police and other emergency service workers (down by 3.5 per cent);

Family Violence related offending slightly increased year-on-year (+3.1 per cent), and breaches of family violence orders also rose by 5.5 per cent from the year before;

Robberies increased by 8.7 per cent year-on-year;

Dangerous driving offences rose by 17 per cent. The rise could be attributed to significant proactive enforcement undertaken by Police over the year;

Overall property and deception offences increased by 9.8 per cent, but remained significantly below pre-pandemic levels (-16.5 per cent from 12 months to the end of March 2020);

More cars were stolen over the 12 months to the end of March 2023 (+17.9 per cent);

There was an 11.2 per cent decrease in overall carjacking’s (246, down from 277), the lowest number of carjackings since 2018;

Youth offenders aged between 10-14 crime increased by 44.6 per cent, while offences from those aged 10-24 increased by 8.4 per cent compared to the previous year, and;

Overall drug-related offending is gradually trending upwards, increasing by 4.6 per cent.

Deputy Commissioner Regional Operations, Rick Nugent said, “Overall crime in Victoria is gradually increasing from the low levels of 2020/21, however still remains more than nine per cent below pre-COVID levels.”

“Serious offences including family violence, serious assaults, rape, sex offences against children, and stalking and harassment all recorded reductions,” he added.

“While this is positive, there are clearly a number of areas of concern that police are investing significant energy and resources towards.”

Mr Nugent said the horror 2023 on Victorian roads so far this year was another significant concern, with 145 lives lost this year, up 39 from the previous year.

“Reckless drivers are firmly in the sights of local and state Highway Patrol units who continue to run targeted and intelligence-led operations to reduce the likelihood of further trauma on our roads,” he said.