Crime down in Whittlesea

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By Brooke Haffenden

FIGURES released by the Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) recently indicated that crime is on the decline in the City of Whittlesea.

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The latest data, from the September quarter, revealed that the municipality had a significant decrease in public order and security offences.

There was a 17 per cent reduction in burglaries with 1554 burglaries compared to 1877 during the same period last year.

In the last 12 months, the number of drug (by 15 per cent) and property and deception offences (by 7.2 per cent) were down year on year.

Whittlesea Police Service Area Inspector Andrew Falconer welcomed the data.

Inspector Falconer told the Whittlesea Review police had focused on burglaries and robberies and acknowledged these crimes created the most fear in the community.

“We were really happy with the decrease in burglaries,” he said.

“We focused on recidivist offenders, who are repeat offenders… and getting them before the courts.

“We’re holding offenders to account.

“Burglary is a more sophisticate crime and a more sophisticated investigation. We’re really happy with the work we’ve put in. The crime statistics are reflective of the stations.

“From our perspective the members have been working hard and it’s great to see that.”

Inspector Falconer also thanked City of Whittlesea Neighbourhood Watch for their work.

City of Whittlesea Mayor Kris Pavlidis said it was pleasing to see the overall crime statistics in the City of Whittlesea had dropped in the past 12 months.

“In the City of Whittlesea we are determined to play our role in preventing crime and helping our community feel safe where they live,” Cr Pavlidis said.

“In 2016 we launched our Community Safety and Crime Prevention Strategy, an important document in our fight against crime in our community. It reflects a partnership approach to preventing crime and improving community safety.

“We continue to work closely with Victoria Police, Neighbourhood Watch and other key stakeholders to address community safety issues.”

Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green said while the statistics are encouraging, the work is not over.

“The state government is investing more than ever in community safety and we are seeing that in Melbourne’s north with the new Mernda Police Station and the extra 45 police officers on the beat,” Ms Green said.

Inspector Falconer explained the opening of the new Mernda Police Station late last year is not yet reflective in the crime statistics but police are hopeful to see a further reduction in crime next year.

He also said that police have been slowly filling vacancies in the area over the past 12 months. Police also started a Whittlesea Police Service Area targeted response team, focusing on high volume crimes, and invested in an investigation response task force which focused on serious crime.

While Inspector Falconer said there was an increase in breaches of orders and justice procedures, police had put more resources towards family violence and this was reflective in the statistics.

With the first month of the year nearly over, there has been an increase in thefts and Inspector Falconer reminded residents to lock their cars and front doors, and to not leave valuables lying around in the open.

He also said there has been an increase in number plate thefts and advised residents to use reversible screws. These one-way screws can be obtained from police stations, Neighbourhood Watch or your local hardware store.