Crime drops, except in Macedon


Elsie Lange

Despite the overall crime rate in the Macedon Ranges dropping 29 per cent in the year to March, the village of Macedon saw a 34 per cent increase in offences recorded.

The latest Crime Statistics Agency data shows a 207 per cent increase in Macedon in offences related to drug dealing, trafficking, possession and use – 13 offences in March 2021, compared to 40 offences over the same period ending in March 2022.

Macedon Ranges Crime Investigation Unit Acting Detective Sergeant Andrew Bowen said the increased number of drug offences recorded is the result of “more proactive policing”.

“Drug offences are detected offences, that being that the offences are detected by police versus reported offences, whereby somebody’s a victim who has reported to police,” Acting Detective Sergeant Bowen said.

He said there may also be more drug users “out and about”, as drug use is generally undetected in the home without drug trafficking also involved.

“We’d rarely detect just drug use in the home unless we were there for another reason,” he said.

He said the overall decline in the Macedon Ranges crime rate could have something to do with the number of police available to attend and be present in the community, as they had previously been required on the COVID-19 front line.

In Gisborne, the crime rate dropped 35 per cent during the same period, and decreased in Kyneton and Riddells Creek by 36 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.

The largest decrease in types of offences in the Macedon Ranges were property and deception offences, including arson, property damage, burglaries or break-ins, theft and deceptions – falling 20 pe rcent, or by 203 offences.

The crime rate also fell by 21 per cent in Sunbury, with the lowest number of offences recorded for the year to March since 2017.

Victoria-wide, there was an 11.5 percent decrease in crimes recorded compared to the same 12-month period in 2021.

Victoria Police Regional Operations Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent said it was “incredibly pleasing” to see crime continuing to reduce year-on-year.

“Importantly, we are seeing a reduction in the number of victims in our community and the number of people offending, particularly in relation to youth – this shows our collaboration with external partners to implement early intervention initiatives is making an impact and diverting young people away from crime,” he said.

“It’s positive to see a reduction in serious crimes that have long lasting impacts such as home burglaries and robberies – we know the impact these crimes have on how safe people feel in their own homes and neighbourhoods and we will continue to do everything we can to disrupt this offending.”