Horsham crime rate had decreased in the past year

NEW Crime Statistic Agency data shows Horsham had a 16.1 per cent decrease in crime between March 2016 and March this year.

However, offences in Horsham Rural City have increased by 8.57 per cent since December 2014.

Ararat was among the five areas with the highest offence rates in the state, with the crime rate up 11.6 per cent, or more than 13,500 offences for each 100,000 residents.

Throughout the state, the number of robbery offences increased almost 20 per cent, while theft increased by about 10 per cent.

Horsham acting Superintendent Gary Coombes said he was pleased with the drop in crime rates in Horsham since March last year.

He attributed the 11.6 per cent crime increase at Ararat to the proximity of the city’s Hopkins Correctional Centre and 40-bed transitional centre Corella Place.

He said Horsham’s 8.57 per cent increase since December 2014 was due to a combination of factors, including drugs, along with new legislation.

Superintendent Coombes said youth issues including property crime was also a factor.

“With graffiti attacks, there are generally not just one bit of graffiti, they’ll go around and tag multiple properties,” he said.

“Each one’s a separate offence when really, it’s just one crime spate that’s occurred.”

Superintendent Coombes said the crime statistics surrounding family incidents showed police activity was making an impact.

“Family violence is a significant priority for our organisation, and not only us, but other organisations,” he said.

“A significant proportion of this crime is to do with recidivist offenders and victims – what we know is if we target this recidivism, we have an impact.”

Superintendent Coombes said establishing a separate family violence unit within the Wimmera was also to attribute for the crime rates surrounding family incidents. “Family violence is a significant issue and if we can change the culture around it, we can change what respect looks like,” he said.

Crime Statistics Agency chief statistician Fiona Dowsley said family incident rate was starting to stabilise in Victoria. 

“In the past year, the rate of family incidents increased by 0.1 per cent, compared with eight per cent in the previous year,” she said. 

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