Theft offences on the rise

By Jessica Micallef

Theft offences across the Macedon Ranges have hit a 10 year high, new figures reveal.

The latest data from the Crime Statistics Agency reveals thefts increased from 519 offences to 584 in the 12 months to the end of June – an increase of more than 12 per cent.

According to the agency, property and deception offences – including arson, property damage, burglary, theft and deception – have risen 20 per cent (from 894 reported offences to 1074) in the year to June, 2019.

Macedon Ranges Police Inspector Chris Large told

Star Weekly earlier in the year the spike in deception offences (95 compared to 35) was in relation to “good work being done by police”.

Drug offences, which include drug dealing and trafficking, cultivate or manufacture drugs, drug use and possession and other drug offences rose by more than 45 per cent (from 44 to 64) in the same period.

“Over the last couple of months, we have had a strong focus on knowing where the high levels of drug action were,” Inspector Large said.

Offences including arson, blackmail and extortion, robbery and homicide and related offences remained steady in the year to June, 2019.

In Hume, drug offences have also hit a 10-year high, with 754 reported offences recorded in the year to June, 2019, compared to 545 the previous year – a rise of nearly 40 per cent.

Property and deception offences including arson, property damage, burglary and breaking and entering, theft, deception and bribery were down by nearly five per cent (from 9708 to 9226) in the same time.

Crimes against the person, including homicide, assault sexual offences, robbery, stalking and dangerous and negligent acts rose by more than 12 per cent (2725 reported offences from 2434) in the year to June, 2019, compared to the previous year.

Crime Statistics Agency head statistician Fiona Dowsley said the agency had seen a record number of alleged offenders processed by Victoria Police.

“The average age of these alleged offenders has been increasing,” she said.