HOME burglaries continue to be the thorn in the police’s side according to senior Warrnambool policeman Kevin Archer.
The latest police data has revealed crime against the person increased from 603 in 2011 to 719 in 2012 in the Warrnambool police area. Burglaries jumped by 20 per cent from 163 in 2011 to 196 in 2012.
The number of assaults rose from 463 in 2011 to 549 in 2012 and thefts from motor vehicles increased from 225 in 2011 to 242.
The thefts of motor vehicles dropped by almost 30 per cent from 79 in 2011 to 57 in 2012.
Inspector Kevin Archer said the continued focus on reporting family violence had contributed to the increase in crimes against the person, accounting for the large rise in assault figures.
“Allowing for the contribution of the family violence assaults, we have seen a total increase of eight offences in the 12-month period,” he said,
Inspector Archer said the increased number of burglaries was a priority for police and the 20.2 per cent increase represented an additional 23 residential burglaries over the 12-month period.
“Residential burglaries continue to be the thorn in our side,” he said.
“A lot of it is in rural areas where it is difficult for police to have a visible presence.
“We rely on people to look after their neighbours and report anything that is suspicious.”
Other burglaries, which includes business, remained constant despite some spikes occurring in the central business district.
“We have been successful in arresting and charging offenders in some of these burglaries,” Inspector Archer said
He said a drop in the number of stolen motor vehicles was largely to do with people no longer leaving their keys in the car.
“Drug offences have seen a minimal increase, 1.4 per cent, although with the success of the recent ‘Dob in a Dealer’ campaign, ongoing investigations will reflect an increase in these offences,” Inspector Archer said.
“We have been working with counselling agencies across the south-west to provide assistance to those afflicted with drug and alcohol issues that come to our attention.”
Inspector Archer said there continued to be a reduction in injury from collisions — down almost six per cent — and fatal accidents for last year were well down.
“While last year’s reductions are pleasing, we will continue to target those that drive in an irresponsible manner, placing others at risk,” he said.
He said he encouraged the public to report hoon drivers through the Crime Stoppers hoon Hotline on 1800 333 000.