December 15, 2016

BELLARINE POLICE CONTINUE TO TARGET THEFT AND BURGLARY

Police across the Bellarine are proactively targeting burglary and theft offences, and improving responses to high-volume crime.

Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville said the latest Crime Statistics Agency data revealed a number of trends in crime, particularly opportunistic thefts from unlocked motor vehicles, and thefts of motor vehicles.

There have been increases in crime across many parts of the Bellarine – including Clifton Springs, Drysdale, Curlewis, Leopold, Queenscliffe, Point Lonsdale, Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads.

The data also shows a near nine per cent reduction in crime in Indented Heads, St Leonards and Portarlington.

KEY STATISTICS

-Clifton Springs, Drysdale and Curlewis saw an increase of 113 offences year-on-year, with 70 additional thefts. The increase was driven by thefts from motor vehicles and thefts of motor vehicles. There were no carjackings recorded.

-Assault offences fell by eight.

-Indented Heads, St Leonards and Portarlington saw 36 fewer offences over the last 12 months. There were 10 additional thefts relating to motor vehicles.

-Barwon Heads saw 53 more thefts and 30 more burglary offences. These were largely related to thefts from motor vehicle and thefts of motor vehicle.

-There were 84 additional offences overall recorded in 2016, compared to the previous year. There were no home invasions or carjackings recorded.

-In Leopold, there were 84 additional thefts compared to the previous year, as well as 24 additional burglaries. There were no carjackings or home invasions over this period.

-Queenscliffe and Point Lonsdale saw 46 more offences, driven by thefts and burglaries. This is attributed to theft of and theft from motor vehicles. These were not home invasion offences.

-Ocean Grove saw an additional 80 offences on the previous year, with no particular driving factor. Both theft and burglary categories saw a reduction.

Property and deception offences remain the biggest driver of the offence rate across the Bellarine, but much of this can be attributed to the work of local police and high-volume crime teams.

They continue to target crime hotspots and recidivist offenders, making more arrests than ever for this sort of offending.Property and deception offences remain the biggest driver of the offence rate across the Bellarine, but much of this can be attributed to the work of local police and high-volume crime teams.

Ms Neville said family violence remains the state’s number one law and order issue – and sadly you’re still more likely to be the victim of a crime in your own home, by someone you know, than a complete stranger on the street.

There was an increase in aggravated burglaries across the Bellarine in November 2016, but investigations by police revealed none of these aggravated burglaries involved any violent acts against victims.

In fact, police intelligence shows just over one per cent of burglaries statewide involve any violence or threat of violence.

Some incidents include when offenders break into garages while victims are asleep in adjoining houses. Police are proactively addressing this sort of crime.

Small spikes in property damage are seen during holiday periods which police attribute to increased foot traffic across the Bellarine.

Police have made more arrests than ever, with a group of recidivist offenders recently identified and charged.

In cases of motor vehicle theft, police have found in around 50% of these offences, there was no sign of forced entry.

The community is being asked to do its part to prevent becoming an easy target for criminals.

With visitor numbers across the Bellarine expected to surge over the holiday period, additional police patrols will be out in force to fight crime and protect the local community.

Quotes attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville:

“The Bellarine Safety Group continues to do important work in the community to address crime and strategies to detect, disrupt and prevent it.”

“The BSafe website is now live giving Bellarine residents and visitors access to up-to-date information on how to keep safe, as well as updates on what Victoria Police are doing in their local communities.”

“A new holiday policing model will provide additional police to the area during peak periods.”