Baw Baw hit by crime wave

The Baw Baw police services area has been “hit hard” by crime over the past three months with latest statistics reinforcing the need for extra police resources, according to inspector Alison Crombie.

The Crime Statistics Agency released crime statistics for the 12-month period ending June 30 on Thursday, which revealed a 16 per cent increase in the number of offences for Baw Baw psa.

But Insp Crombie said statistics up until Sunday revealed the area had been “hit hard” by offences in the past three months and total crime was actually up 38.8 per cent.

“We’ve been hit hard.  It’s been a bad three months and I can’t see that it will get any better while people are using illicit drugs … that’s the biggest factor in crime, they are fuelling their habit.

“These statistics reinforce the need for additional resources in Baw Baw psa,” Insp Crombie said.

Baw Baw’s total crime is well above the state increase of 11.9 per cent.

The breakdown of figures released by Insp Crombie yesterday indicated significant increases in all areas of crime for the 12-month period ending September 29.

The total number of crimes against the person was up 23 per cent, compared to four per cent statewide.  Assaults are up 12.2 per cent and assaults in public places increased 25 per cent from 32 incidents to 40.

Total property crimes increased 48.2 per cent (compared to 14 per cent statewide) with a massive spike in aggravated burglaries which increased 120 per cent from five incidents to 11.

Residential burglaries increased 97 per cent (54 to 103); commercial burglaries are up 58 per cent; and thefts from cars are up 127 per cent.

There has been a 45 per cent increase in theft of cars.

Insp Crombie urged community members to be more vigilant in their own home security efforts.

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