Crime down but thefts increase

By Jessica Micallef

Macedon Ranges overall crime levels have remained steady, but theft offences have hit a 10-year high, new figures reveal.

The latest data from the Crime Statistics Agency reveals total crime across the Macedon Ranges dropped 2.06 per cent in 2017-18 compared to the previous year.

That was despite a 21.26 per cent spike in theft offences (from 602 to 730) in the same period. There were 519 theft offences reported in 2016-15.

Macedon Ranges Acting Inspector Bruce Simpson said he was concerned about the rise in thefts.

“It’s always a worry,” Acting Inspector Simpson said.

“When you are going away, get someone to look after your house … simple things people can do to reduce thefts.”

Acting Inspector Simpson said the police’s biggest area of concern was theft at service stations throughout the Macedon Ranges.

Sexual offences – which includes rape, indecent assault, incest, sexual offences against children and other sexual offences – dropped by nearly 50 per cent (from 110 to 57) in 2017-18.

Drug use and possession offences fell by almost 30 per cent (from 137 to 97) in the 2017-2018 year.

Acting Inspector Simpson said he was pleased with the decrease in drug-related offences.

Macedon Ranges Inspector Chris Large told Star Weekly last year that the execution of drug warrants across the Macedon Ranges was paying off and police were working hard to keep the community safe.

“We know that illicit drug use can be linked to property crime, so this will remain a focus for us”, Inspector Large said.

All other offences including robbery, blackmail and extortion, arson and breaking and entering remained steady during 2017-18.