Wimmera crime rates drop in 2017

THEFT was the most common crime committed in the Wimmera in 2017. 

New data released by the Crime Statistics Agency on Thursday showed theft was the most recorded crime in Northern Grampians, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack municipalities last year.

In Horsham, breaches of orders was the most common crime, with 521 offences, followed by theft with 456 offences and assault with 282 offences.

Horsham Inspector Paul Phelan said overall crime in the region was down, which was pleasing. “In Horsham Rural City, overall crime was down 15.7 per cent compared with last year,” he said.

“There were major drops in relation to property and deception offences and there was a 20.7 per cent drop in public order and weapons offences.”

Overall, there was 2399 offences recorded in Horsham Rural City last year, which was down from 2825 in 2016 and 3043 in 2015.

The number of offences dropped by 21.9 per cent in Northern Grampians from 2016 to 2017, but Yarriambiack had an 8.6 per cent increase, Hindmarsh had a 3.8 per cent increase and West Wimmera had a 1.1 per cent increase.

Inspector Phelan said despite changes in crime rates, people still needed to be vigilant.

“Deception offences continue to occur and people need to be aware of things like online scams,” he said.

“As soon as technology changes, so does the way scams can operate – people must never give out their passwords.”

Inspector Phelan said family violence was an area that could always be improved.

West Wimmera Shire had a massive increase in family violence offences, jumping 75.1 per cent since last year.

However, Horsham had a 2.1 per cent decrease, Northern Grampians had an 18.6 per cent decrease and Hindmarsh had a 12.6 per cent decrease.

“We want to continue to reduce these crimes,” Inspector Phelan said.

He said theft was a common offence and it was important people notified police of they saw any unusual activity.

“Especially in more isolated areas and rural locations – if people see something and don’t tell us, we can’t do much about it,” he said.

“Even little information like a registration number could be useful and help us solve a range of crimes.”