By Jessica Micallef
Macedon Ranges’ crime rate has risen almost 10 per cent in the year to September 2019, new figures show.
The latest data from the Crime Statistics Agency reveals a total of 2426 offences were recorded across the region, an increase from 2226 in the previous 12 months.
Macedon Ranges acting Inspector David Rowe attributed the spike to an increase in theft offences.
“We had an ongoing issue in relation to theft of copper wiring and also involving properties or homes under construction, so that was certainly a driver for the Kyneton and Gisborne area,” he said.
“As a result, members of the Macedon Ranges Crime Investigation Unit, along with support from Highway Patrol and uniformed police in the area … are targeting those offences.
“Thirteen offenders have been charged as a result of that work. Nine of those are still on remand and others will face court.”
According to the agency, property and deception offences – including arson, property damage, burglary and breaking and entering, theft and deception – have risen by 12 per cent (from 1178 offences to 1323) in the year to September 2019.
“It’s really important that people lock their houses, lock up their buildings and garages,” acting Inspector Rowe said.
“In January, we have a focus on property damages and theft of and from motor vehicles. Ensure cars are locked, that goes including on your driveway.
“If people see something suspicious that doesn’t fit in, give us a ring or report to Crime Stoppers.”
Crimes against the person – including assault, robbery, stalking and harassment, and dangerous and negligent behaviour – rose by four per cent in the same period (from 326 offences to 342 offences).
Kyneton recorded the highest number of criminal offences, with 510 offences reported in the year to September 2019, compared to 498 offences in the previous year. It was followed by Gisborne, Romsey, Woodend and Macedon.
In Hume, recorded crime offences rose 2.4 per cent in the year to September, 2019 (from 20,719 offences to 21,211).