Sunbury crime soars

A large increase in drug offences and breaches of orders has driven a 30 per cent increase in overall crime in Sunbury.
Latest data released by the Crime Statistics Agency on Thursday reveals 279 drug offences were detected in postcode 3429 in the year to March, up 55 per cent.
Justice procedures soared from 211 to 573, more than 170 per cent.
Property offences climbed almost 20 per cent, from 1479 to 1770, while crimes against a person rose from 467 to 491 (5 per cent).
Across Hume, the overall crime rate was up more than 16 per cent.
The release of the figures comes a fortnight after the police union rejected calls for Diggers Rest to be transferred into the Sunbury police service area, saying it would put more pressure on officers already dealing with soaring numbers of calls.
Sunbury police station is already closed to the public on occasions due to a lack of staff.
Western Metropolitan Liberal MP Bernie Finn said the latest figures were a direct consequence of not having enough police on patrol.
“How can we fight crime when we do not have the manpower necessary to do it?,” he said.
Police Minister Lisa Neville said statewide figures showed police were targeting more crime, making more arrests and charging more offenders to protect the community.
“We face a number of complex law and order challenges – including the scourge of family violence, the need to crack down on gangs and gun crime – which is why this government continues to give Victoria Police the people, technology and infrastructure they need to keep our community safe, now and well into the future.”
Overall crime in the Macedon Ranges was up 17 per cent, from 2139 to 2503 total offences.
Assaults were up 25 per cent, from 179 to 225, property damage climbed from 197 to 220 offences, while justice procedures went up from 30 to 64 (113 per cent).
Drug use and possession numbers increased slightly, from 147 to 150.
More to come.