TARGETING CRIME ON THE BELLARINE

The Andrews Labor Government continue to work closely with police as they crack down on crime across the Bellarine, following the release of the latest crime statistics today.

Minister for Police Lisa Neville said the 2016 Crime Statistics Agency figures released today continued to show police were making more arrests and stepping up enforcement across the region.

The figures show a stabilizing of results in the last three quarters following high figures in 2015. The final quarter of 2016 also shows the lowest number of offences for the year.

This follows work from police during the last quarter of the year to successfully disrupt crime in a number of key areas in the Bellarine Peninsula.

In the year ending 31 December 2016, the number of offences recorded in the Bellarine Peninsula increasing around 10 per cent, which has been driven by an increase in property and deception offences.

  • Indented Heads, St Leonards, Portarlington: 49 fewer offences compared with the same time last year (395 to 346, 12.4 per cent decrease). There is a 22 per cent decrease in overall offences the most recent quarter when compared to the previous quarter.
  • Leopold: 84 more offences compared with the same time last year (367 to 451, 22.9 per cent increase). There is a 5.6 per cent decrease in overall offences in the most recent quarter when compared to the previous quarter.
  • Queenscliffe, Pt Lonsdale: 20 fewer offences than at the same time last year (195 to 175, 10.3 per cent decrease) – theft and property damage decreases a key driver. There is also a 34 per cent decrease of overall offences in the most recent quarter when compared to the previous quarter.
  • Clifton Springs, Drysdale, Curlewis: 149 extra offences compared with the same time last year (413 to 562). There is a six per cent increase in overall offences in the most recent quarter when compared to the previous quarter.
  • Ocean Grove: 37 fewer offences than at the same time last year (495 to 458, 7.5 per cent decrease) – theft and deception decreases a key driver. There is a 12.5 per cent decrease of overall offences in the most recent quarter when compared to the previous quarter.
  • Barwon Heads: 83 more offences than at the same time last year (205 to 288, 40.5 per cent increase) – driven by increases in thefts and burglaries, and increase in breaches of orders. This is a 40.9 per cent decrease in the most recent quarter when compared to the previous quarter.

Overall there has been a 46 per cent increase in breaches of Family Violence orders in 2016 compared to 2015.

Ms Neville said the government is giving police the powers and resources they need to fight crime, funding more frontline police, introducing tough new laws to target home invasions and carjackings, and giving police more powers to lock up drug dealers and take weapons off our streets.

A record $2 billion police investment – the largest in the force’s history – will see a massive boost to police numbers, with 3135 extra officers to be recruited and deployed over the next five years.

It comes after the government delivered $7.8 million for 15 additional sworn police officers in the region, which has given police extra resources to increase patrols across the Bellarine Peninsula.

Across Victoria, the number of offences recorded by police increased by 10.2 per cent compared to the previous year, and the total crime rate for Victoria per 100,000 population increased by 8.1 per cent.

In February Ms Neville also announced $700,000 to help tackle youth crime in the Geelong area following a youth crime prevention workshop today. Work is now underway to decide what specific interventions and programs the funding will be used for to work with young people at risk of offending or who are offending now.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville

 “We know our communities need more police which is why we’re boosting police numbers across Victoria by 20 per cent and giving police tough new powers to crack down on drugs, guns and home invasions.”

“Turning around a six-year crime trend does not happen overnight, but police are working around the clock to keep communities safe.”