Horsham police received the third highest rate of offences reported to them of any police force in Victoria in 2018, something which they are very happy about.
The latest data from the Crime Statistics Agency shows for the year ending December 31, there were 3021 offences reported to police in the Horsham local government area, up nearly 26 per cent from the previous 12 month period.
This translated into a rate of 15,167.1 offences per 100,000 estimated resident population, behind only LaTrobe and Melbourne City local government areas.
The Ararat and Yarriambiack areas also saw increases in this category.
Wimmera Superintendent Paul Margetts said this increase was largely due to more residents reporting to officers when people breached family violence and personal safety intervention orders.
"These are justice procedural offences, but then there is also criminal reporting that comes out of that because breaches involve crimes against the person and property damage," Supt Margetts said.
"The other bits of crime reporting from the last three months of note to us are theft from shops and theft of bicycles in the Horsham area.
"We've also had an increase in reports of drug trafficking and dealing, and detection of cultivation in relation to cannabis grow houses."
Supt Margetts said he would be happy if the number of recorded offences across the Wimmera increased with every new statistics report.
"A positive sign for me is the focus by the community to work with police. Good information coming from the community allows us to progress with investigations," he said.
"We're seeing an increase in confidence in the community to report family violence offences, which links to the fact there is a specialist team that works out of Horsham police station."
The data released on Thursday coincides with the "Dob in a dealer" campaign currently running in the Horsham Police Service Area.
Superintendent Margetts said police anticipated an increase in drug arrests and charges in coming months as a result of the campaign.
There were 1577 criminal incidents in the Horsham local government area in 2018, two more than in 2017. LaTrobe in eastern Victoria saw the most criminal incidents of any regional area over this time frame with 9927.
Vehicle focus for rural property crimes
Supt Margetts said police had been engaging with the Victorian Farmers Federation over the past few months, after the organisation expressed concerns thefts from farms were being under-reported.
"These sorts of thefts are more challenging for police, given often there are no witnesses to provide evidence and information," he said.
"But an important thing to note is offenders in these situations have a limited opportunity to use anything other than cars to leave the scene, so we're keen to receive information about the suspicious movement of vehicles.
"Most farmers know what cars their neighbours drive, but if there are other vehicles passing through it's good to have them come forward to us with that information. Even if people are uncertain as to whether thefts have occurred, it just gives us a better picture as to where the crime hot spots might be."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.