Latest crime statistics for the Northern Grampians Shire

THE LATEST crime statistics for the Northern Grampians Shire Police Service Area (PSA) are a stark contrast to the figures presented statewide.

The statistics which compare the 12 months to June 2014 with the 12 months to June 2013 show falls across our region in all statistically significant areas, except assault excluding family violence and road fatalities.

Northern Grampians Shire Police Service Area Inspector Ian Lindsay said the figures show some success, but there are still areas where police need to focus on bringing about even more improvement.

"This year has seen a slight increase in the number of assaults excluding family violence by 0.8 per cent which in numbers reported, equates to an increase from 245 to 247," he said.

"What is also pleasing is the reduction in our assaults associated with family violence which has seen a reduction from 477 to 458.

"This may reflect the intervention by police issuing criminal charges against offenders and support from the judicial process.

"We still encourage the reporting of any form of violence and have increased the support to victims with the recent introduction of the Victim Assistance and Counselling Program within Ararat, Stawell and St Arnaud.

"Violence in our community will not be tolerated."

Insp Lindsay said another achievement is the reduction in the PSA's instances of property damage.

"Property damage has seen a decline of 20.8 per cent, which is a reduction from 371 incidents down to 294," he said.

"Community vigilance and the reporting of escalating behaviour to police or venue operators can result in timely intervention. This will continue to be supported by targeted police operations to negate such illegal activity."

Incidents of motor vehicle theft have also decreased 48 per cent, from 56 to 29.

"But again, I warn against complacency and implore you all to lock your vehicles and take responsibility around their security," Insp Lindsay said.

"Stolen motor vehicles are used in an array of other crimes, such as petrol theft, through to hazardous and sometimes tragic road policing outcomes and we need your help and support in further reducing this offence."

Insp Lindsay said police continue to actively target drug-related crime through both local and tasked operations and patrols, with members of the public providing vital information.

The number of drug crimes detected has decreased by 52 per cent.

"Although drugs primarily are a health concern that requires treatment, support and management from local heath care providers, it is your information and observations that result in offenders being charged or referred to health care providers," he said.

"In some part, the amount of information received is reflected as a contribution towards the figures and this information can be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to your local police station."

Insp Lindsay was also pleased with road policing data which is headlined by a 19 per cent reduction in injuries associated with road accidents (119 down to 96).

"Our road fatalities have increased from five to eight and this is still too many and we will never be satisfied with this," he said.

"We make no apologies for our enforcement in the battle to reduce road trauma and you will continue to see high police presence and visibility in support of both state and local road policing operations."

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