by Jackson Russell
A ROMSEY business owner is growing frustrated after a spate of break-ins in the area.
Thieves made off with chainsaws, nail guns and other tools during two break-ins four weeks apart.
Romsey Hardware owner Nick Waldhauser said the offenders broke through the front door the first time, stealing chainsaws and other tools before cutting through the back door with an angle grinder weeks later to steal nail guns and other tools.
“The same day after they had broken in and stolen stuff, they came back a couple hours later and had another crack at it,” he said.
“It’s across the board, it’s not really just commercial or just power tools. There’s been a car stolen. The crime rate has just gone through the roof at the moment.”
A Victoria Police spokesperson said there has been an increase in family-violence related crime, motor vehicle thefts and burglary offences.
“While police will continue to work hard to deter this crime and hold offenders to account, it is a timely reminder to the community to be vigilant with home and vehicle security,” the spokesperson said.
Neither Romsey nor Lancefield are 24-hour stations, leaving the towns open to crime in the small hours of the morning and the nearest 24-hour station is in Kyneton, around half an hour away.
Victoria Police said it is constantly reviewing police numbers, offences and peak times when police are required in order to keep the community safe.
“We know it is more effective to have our members mobile – investigating and attending scenes of crime rather than sitting behind a desk at a police station,” a spokesperson said.
“Local police are confident they are providing an effective policing response to the community, supported by specialist units that work across the wider Macedon Ranges Police Service Area and Bendigo Division.
“Despite these recent short term increases in some crime categories, the workload data shows no demonstrated demand for Romsey or Lancefield to operate as a 24 hour station, however this is continually reviewed.”
Statistics released recently show crime in the Macedon Ranges has fallen but residents and businesses in Romsey and Lancefield aren’t convinced.
The statistics from the independent Crime Statistics Agency said the crime rate in Macedon Ranges Shire decreased 7.3 per cent to June 30, 2018 while burglaries and break-ins have declined by 9.6 per cent.
Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas welcomed the latest statistics but also said more work needs to be done to continue to drive crime down further.
“Our unprecedented investment in Victoria Police, is making a real difference, with the crime rate continuing to fall across the state as more frontline police hit the streets,” she said.
“Decisions about the staffing of stations and allocation of police resources across the state are appropriately made by police command”.