Macedon Ranges’ crime on the decline

Crime in the Macedon Ranges has decreased for the first time since 2011 amid Victoria’s biggest drop in crime in a decade.

The number of recorded incidents has fallen by eight per cent, according to new Crime Statistics Agency data, in line with Victoria’s overall 9.9 per cent decrease.

The data also shows Sunbury’s crime rate has remained steady after having consistently increased throughout the past six years.

In the Macedon Ranges, a total of 2462 incidents were recorded in the year to December 31, 2017, down from 2678 in the same period in 2016.

A drop in recorded drug offences, justice procedures offences and sexual offences is behind the region’s overall decrease in crime.

While the number of sexual offences has risen by 16 per cent statewide, the number of offences recorded in the Macedon Ranges dropped from 99 to 68.

The area has experienced an increase in non-family violence common assault, up from 180 to 241, and a rise in family violence harassment, from 8 to 29.

Motor vehicle theft is at an all-time high for the Macedon Ranges, with 83 vehicles stolen in 2017, compared to 62 in 2016.

Earlier this month, Macedon Ranges local area commander Inspector Chris Large told Star Weekly local police planned to begin a campaign to encourage residents to lock their vehicles.

He said a common theme among car thefts was people leaving their vehicles unlocked.

Sunbury’s crime rate has remained fairly steady, with 3032 incidents in the year to December 31, 2017, compared to 3038 incidents in 2016.

The suburb has experienced an increase in the number of recorded assaults, both related and unrelated to family violence. Family-violence common assault has risen from 61 incidents in 2016 to 93 incidents in 2017.

Hume Inspector Anthony Brown said local police had been striving to increase the number of family violence incident reports.

“Family violence is an area that Hume police have been paying close attention to,” the Inspector said.

He said the history of people previously not reporting family violence made it difficult to determine whether there had been a rise in the actual number of incidents.