While other central Victorian councils have seen an increase in criminal offences, the Central Goldfields Shire is one of the exceptions, with offences dropping by 18 percent, new statistics have shown.
Recently released figures from the Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) show the number of recorded offences — any criminal act or omission by a person or organisation for which a penalty could be imposed by the Victorian legal system — for the year ending June 2019 was 1316, almost 300 less offences than the previous year’s 1604.
The shire’s number of criminal incidents — classified as a criminal event that may include one or more offences, alleged offenders and/or victims recorded on a single date at one location — also recorded a drop from 994 incidents last year to 890 for the year ending June 2019.
The rate of both criminal incidents and offences per 100,000 people has also dropped, decreasing from a rate of 12,143 offences per 100,000 people to 9915 this year and 7525 criminal incidents last year to 6705 so far this year.
Crime was on the rise in neighbouring shires, with 484 offences recorded in the Loddon Shire, up from 410 last year, while the Pyrenees Shire saw 642 offences, an increase of more than 50 percent from the 421 recorded last year.
Offences in the neighbouring Mount Alexander Shire also increased to 1103 from 873, while the Hepburn Shire joined the Central Goldfields in recording a drop in offences, from 841 last year to 798.
The statistics further reveal the number of theft offences in the Central Goldfields have dropped by more than 50 percent with 213 recorded offences compared to last year’s 436, marking the lowest number of thefts since the year ending June 2015.
Goldfields Police Service Area Inspector Donna Mitchell said the drop in crime is a positive result for the shire.
For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, October 8