Thefts drive rise in crime rate


By Jessica Micallef

Crime in Macedon Ranges rose by almost 5 per cent in the year to December 2019, new figures show.

The latest data from the Crime Statistics Agency reveal a total of 2443 offences were recorded across the municipality, an increase from 2332 in the previous year.

Of the offences recorded, 47.9 per cent resulted in arrests or summons and 38.9 per cent of the recorded offences remain unsolved.

According to the agency, property and deception offences – including arson, property damage, burglary and breaking and entering, theft and deception – have risen by 9 per cent (from 1222 offences to 1332) in the year to December 2019.

Macedon Ranges Police Inspector Chris Large said while the region had “relatively low” crime rates, petrol theft, shopping centre burglaries and theft from homes and motor vehicles continued to be a concern.

“A lot of the thefts are in regards to theft of petrol and from shopping centres,” Inspector Large said.

“But we have been working hard … to try and reduce this.

“We urge the community to make sure their house is prepared as best as it possibly can be … and well lit.

“Get someone to look after the property. It’s also probably not the best option to post on social media when you are not going to be at home.”

Crimes against the person – including assault, robbery, stalking and harassment, dangerous and negligent acts, abduction and sexual offences – rose by almost 3 per cent in the same period (from 342 offences to 352 offences).

Kyneton recorded the highest number of criminal offences across the Macedon Ranges, with 495 offences reported in the year to December 2019, compared to 511 offences in the previous year. It was followed by Gisborne (435), Woodend (267), Romsey (267) and Macedon (185).

In Hume recorded offences rose 3.6 per cent (from 20,705 to 21,445) in the year to December 2019, compared to the previous year.

Sunbury recorded the third highest number criminal offence across Hume, with 3051 offences reported, compared to 2796 in the previous year.