REGION - The release of the latest crime statistics for the Northern Grampians Shire Police Service Area make for sober reading with a steep rise in crimes against property, drug offences and theft of motor vehicles.
The statistics compare the 12 months to June 2013 with the 12 months to June 2012.
In that time the number of drug offences rose by a staggering 150 per cent, crime against property 73 per cent and theft of motor vehicles 69.7 per cent.
Crime against the person has also risen by almost 20 per cent, with 572 cases compared to 478 last year.
The rise in the number of raw offences and overall rates per 100,000 population has been attributed to police targeting of crimes including motor vehicle theft and drug related crime.
Northern Grampians Shire Acting Inspector Stuart Green said the reporting of family violence also continues to increase.
"While this is concerning it also reflects that Victoria Police encourage the reporting of all such incidents," he said.
"We continue to build partnerships with welfare agencies and as a result more referrals are made to provide support to those involved in Family Violence.
"It is anticipated that through these referrals the incidence of Family Violence will ultimately reduce."
Insp. Green said in the past year there had been a significant rise in motor vehicles stolen from the police service area that includes three council areas, Northern Grampians Shire, Ararat Rural City and Yarriambiack Shire.
"Many of these vehicles have been left unlocked by the owner/s," he said.
"Stolen vehicles are often used to commit other crimes and pose a significant risk to the community. I ask for your help to reduce the number of stolen motor vehicles by ensuring you lock your vehicle when not in use."
Contrary to many reports, theft from motor vehicle crime has fallen, with a 33 percent decrease.
Insp Green said is a result of pushing heavily messages related to locking cars and securing valuables.
Recidivist offenders account for much of the theft from motor vehicle crime in areas including Ararat and Stawell.
Insp Green said police have actively targeted drug related crime through a number of operations and tasked patrols resulting in a substantial increase in the number of drug crimes detected.
"A large percentage of the information that police use to enforce the law against those trafficking or using drugs of dependence comes from the community," he said.
"We have been putting a lot of efforts in to operations around drug trafficking, so people can be assured that if they provide information to us it will be acted on.
"This information can be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers (1800 333 000) or to your local police station."
Although not reflected in the latest statistics the high number of recent road deaths and injuries have concerned police.
Insp Green had a message for motorists and road users in the wake of another fatal accident on the Navarre road near Stawell last week.
"We've seen some pretty tragic accidents in the last couple of months where generally people have driven off what are straight stretches of road," he said.
"That's why it is important people drive refreshed and not when tired.
"We are at a loss to explain the accidents because the message is always the same, but definitely there has been too many road deaths recently."
Other crimes in the report including burglary and robbery showed little to no change, while cases of property damage dropped by 10 percent.