26 September 2023

Crime rates rising as pandemic declines

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Crime rates across Victoria are increasing after the pandemic-related declines from the past few years, according to the latest data from Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency (CSA).

CSA Chief Statistician Fiona Dowsley said there were 496,589 criminal offences recorded in Victoria in the 12 months to March, representing an increase of 26,424 offences or 5.6 per cent from the previous year.

Ms Dowsley said that when population growth was taken into account, overall crime increased by 3.5 per cent (7,349.1 offences per 100,000 people, up from 7,102.3).

She said all offence categories increased in the last 12 months, except for Breach of Chief Health Officer offences, which had been recorded at higher levels during the first two years of the pandemic.

“Offences not related to family violence drove the increase up 6.4 per cent or 23,030 offences to 384,018, while family violence related offences increased 3.1 per cent or 3,394 offences to 112,571,” Ms Dowsley said.

“The upward trends observed in recorded crime measures in the last 12 months coincide with a return to pre-pandemic related movements in the community,” she said.

“While there has been an increase in recorded crime measures for the year ending 31 March 2023 the figures remain below those recorded in 2019.”

Commenting on the data, Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Regional Operations Rick Nugent urged Victorians to take simple measures to protect themselves from burglary highlighting the 30 per cent increase in aggravated residential burglaries.

Deputy Commissioner Nugent said that three months ago, Police launched a Melbourne-wide operation to prevent burglaries and car thefts which had led to the arrests of more than 200 people.

“Our intelligence is telling us there has been a decrease in burglaries and associated car thefts since the operation commenced, however we will not let up,” Deputy Commissioner Nugent said.

“In some parts of Melbourne, up to 70 per cent of homes broken into are unlocked, so we also implore the community to take simple measures such as looking all doors, windows, and gates to help foil opportunistic thieves.”

CSA’s latest crime data can be accessed at this PS News link.

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