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City of Whittlesea youth crime increases

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Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic
Jordyn Grubisic is a senior journalist for the North Central Review primarily covering politics at all levels and sport with a particular interest in basketball. Since 2019 she has worked for several publications across Victoria including most recently at the Alexandra Standard and Yea Chronicle. She is always keen to hear from local community members about issues they face and has an interest in crime and court reporting.

The latest Victoria Police crime statistics show the number of offences committed by young people in the City of Whittlesea has increased.

Overall crime incidents rose 3.2 per cent to 9198 in the year ending March 2023, from 8917 in 2022.

Epping, Thomastown, Mill Park, Bundoora and Lalor were the top suburbs for crime incidents.

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There were 645 alleged incidents involving young people aged between 10 to 17 years as offenders, making up 13 per cent of the total alleged offender incidents in the municipality.

The youth crime figure has increased year-on-year, and when compared with pre-COVID levels, it has increased by 17 per cent.

A Victoria Police spokesperson said there had been a slight increase on overall crime year-on-year however, when compared with pre-COVID levels, overall crime in the City of Whittlesea had decreased by 22 per cent.

“We are actively focused on keeping crime down, and we have teams of officers patrolling the community every night to detect and deter crime,” the spokesperson said.

“Our focus is always ensuring we have as many resources on the road to not only detect crime but to provide a rapid response to any calls for assistance.”

Top locations for crime in the local government area, LGA, were the home, streets and footpaths, shopping complexes, service stations and carparks.

The top principal offences were theft, stealing from a motor vehicle, criminal damage, breaching family violence orders and stealing from a store.

Almost 46 per cent of offences resulted in arrests or summons, 12.7 per cent ‘other’, which could be a caution or fine, while 33.8 per cent are unsolved.

The spokesperson said the figures were relatively in proportion with the state of Victoria.

“In Whittlesea, the number of offenders we have processed for crimes including assaults, sex offences, robberies, burglaries, theft, drug and weapon offences has all increased,” they said.

“While all crimes are investigated, it is common practice across all police jurisdictions and agencies for incidents causing the most damage to be priorities. This particularly applies to offences where harm or injury is caused to an individual.”

Four homicide and related offences, 194 non-family violence related serious assault incidents and 342 non-family violence related common assault incidents were recorded in the municipality.

There were 62 incidents of assaulting police, emergency services or other authorised officers.

“While this figure has increased year-on-year, it is well below pre-COVID levels,” the Victoria Police spokesperson said.

“The vast majority of the community has the utmost respect for our officers, however there is a minority who have a blatant disregard for law enforcement and aren’t afraid to engage in violent confrontations with the potential to inflict physical or mental injuries on our members.

“This is completely unacceptable and the safety of our people and those who we deal within the community is our highest priority.”

Among the criminal incidents reported, sexual offences and false imprisonment reports decreased while abduction incidents increased.

There were 44 incidents of dangerous driving and 94 other incidents of dangerous or negligent acts endangering people.

Fifty-one incidents of causing damage by fire, one causing a bushfire, with an additional five other fire-related offences reported.

Criminal damage and graffiti incident reports decreased. Five professional malpractice and misrepresentation incidents were reported.

There were 146 drug trafficking, 27 cultivating drugs, 46 possessing drug manufacturing equipment or precursor and seven drug use incidents.

There were 658 incidents of drug possession and eight other drug offences.

Seventeen drunk and disorderly in public, 29 offensive conduct and four offensive language incidents were reported.

Full crime data can be found at crimestatistics.vic.gov.au/crime-statistics/latest-crime-data-by-area.

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