Crime has dropped by nine percent in the Central Goldfields Shire in the last year.

An overall total of 917 offences were recorded during the 12-month period between July 31, 2008 to July 31, 2009 — a drop of 91 compared with the 1008 crimes committed during the previous year.

Crimes that decreased in number included sex (non-rape) offences, down from 35 to 10 (-71.4), property damage, down to 160 from 195 (- 17.9) and deception, down to 18 from the previous year’s figure of 64 (- 71.9).

Crimes against the person, which includes, assault, homicide, rape, robbery and abduction, was down as a whole, with 174 offences committed, a drop of -9.4 percent.

Crimes against property, a category which includes, thefts, burglaries, property damage and arson, was also down, with 485 offences committed, amounting to a drop of -19 percent.

Worryingly, however, some crimes are on the rise throughout the shire, including shoplifting, up by 157.9 percent, drug offences, up to 43 from 21, a rise of 59.3 percent, along with weapons/explosives offences, up from 23 to 50, a rise of 177.4 percent.

In a post on Victoria police’s media website, Central Goldfields police inspector, Vic Dunn, said the shire has seen “remarkable reductions in crime”.

“A 54.3 percent increase in the number of drug offences detected shows that police are proactively addressing the issue,” Inspector Dunn said.

“For this financial year, the Central Goldfields Police Service Area (PSA) is focusing on property damage and theft of, and from, motor vehicles.

“Mobile patrol groups and special operations have been strongly targeting theft and property damage offences, and significant work has been done to educate the community about how to protect themselves against crime.

“Other notable reductions have been recorded for assault, residential burglary and road fatalities.

“These reductions have been achieved as a direct result of intelligence-based police operations and targeting of high-risk areas.

Inspector Dunn also forecast the local police unit’s targeted areas for the coming year, saying that the road toll and severity of collisions will be one such target area.

“Central Goldfields police ask that local residents observe all road signs, stick to the speed limits and to be conscious of the affects of fatigue while driving,” Inspector Dunn said.

“The community can help reduce crime by securing all valuables at home and in vehicles and by reporting suspicious behaviour to police.”

The drop in local crime follows a statewide trend, with crime down across Victoria by 1.7 percent, the eighth consecutive year a decrease in offences has been recorded, a fact Victorian Police Commissioner, Simon Overland, attributed to the “significant work” undertaken by Victoria Police members on a daily basis to tackle crime across the state.

Mr Overland also said he believes the community needed to continue to work with police to continue the reduction of crime in the Victorian community.

“I am pleased that we have been able to achieve a reduction in crime, however community needs to continue to share in the responsibility and work with us to make the community safer,” Mr Overland said.

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