CRIME in the Southern Grampians region is down with police attributing the good report card to the community working together with police.
Crimes against the person and crime against property fell by 9.3 per cent and 6.9 per cent respectively from 2011 to 2012, according to the latest police data.
The region also recorded a drop in drug offences falling by 5.9 per cent and property damage crime was reduced from 489 to 386.
In 2011, there were 282 assaults and in 2012 there were 279. Residential burglaries increased by 4.1 per cent.
Southern Grampians Inspector Donald Downes welcomed the stats, which were the best in the western region.
“It’s because of a combination of things,” he said. “The community and the police have been working together and that’s number one.
“They’re heeding the police message in terms of property damage and thefts.”
Inspector Downes said police had also identified high-risk community areas of crime and traffic accidents and allocated additional resources to those areas. “That has helped to drive down crime,” he said.
He said changes to licensing at the Richmond Henty Hotel in Portland and Attic nightclub in Hamilton have also contributed.
Both venues’ operating hours were reduced by two hours with the Richmond Henty Hotel’s closing hours moving from 3am to 1am and Attic nightclub’s closing hours moving from 5am to 3am.
“This has had a significant impact on crime in the local business districts,” Inspector Downes said.
He said the 4.1 per cent increase in residential burglaries came off a low base and represented four extra offences.
“Commercial burglaries and theft from motor cars have reduced by more than 16 per cent each which is a great result,” he said.
He said local detectives had worked tirelessly in focusing their attention on offenders who committed those crimes and have arrested and charged a number of persons in recent time.
“No report of crime or suspicious behaviour is too minor and every detail assists us in detecting offenders,” he said.
“The smallest piece of information might be just what we need to put together a picture of criminal activity.”
“We are making good inroads towards reducing road trauma. As we head into autumn and winter, it is important for drivers to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy, particular checking their tyres.
“Our message is pretty simple — don’t speed, concentrate, take rest breaks and don’t drive impaired by drugs or alcohol. If everybody adheres to this message we will all be able to provide a safer environment for all road users.”