Family violence top crime

Footscray Police Station. (Joe Mastroianni). 245950_02

Tara Murray

Criminal offences in Moorabool increased by seven per cent, while increasing slightly in Melton in the 12 months to March according to new Crime Statistics Agency data.

The data released on Thursday, showed there was an increase of 144 offences in Moorabool in the reporting period, increasing from 2041 to 2185.

Breach of a family violence order was the top crime in the municipality increasing to 305 offences in the 12 months to March. Family violence incidences were up by six per cent from 502 to 532 in the same period.

Moorabool Local Area Commander Acting Inspector Lisa MacDougal said while overall crime across Moorabool has increased over the past twelve months, it remains at its second lowest level in eight years.

“An additional positive is that firearm and prohibited weapon offences are down in Moorabool,“ she said.

“Crimes driving this increase include theft from a motor vehicle and residential burglaries. “We want to reassure residents that we will continue to police proactively to prevent and disrupt criminal activity and keep the community safe.

“Family violence will continue to be a major priority for Victoria police. An increase in family violence order breaches can be attributed to the proactive work of dedicated detectives, who are knocking on the doors of victims and perpetrators to ensure offenders know they are being monitored, victims feel supported, and breaches are more easily identified.

In Melton, criminal offences increased by 0.6 per cent from 12,082 to 12,154 in the 12 months to March.

The Melton township was where the most offences occur with 1983 offences which was an increase on previous reporting period.

Breach of a family violence order was the top offence in the municipality for the reporting period, despite a drop on the previous 12 months.. Family violence also decreased from 2915 incidences to 2855.

Melton Local Area Commander, Inspector Lisa Prentice-Evans said while crime in Melton has increased slightly, we are seeing an overall decrease by 6 per cent when compared with pre-COVID levels from the year ending March 2020.

“While it is pleasing to see a decrease from these levels, we are focused on doing everything we can to keep crime down and ensure the community is safe,“ she said.

“The issue of family violence will continue to be a major priority for Melton police.

“While overall family incidents have decreased slightly in Melton, the statistics indicate we are continuing to arrest offenders for breaching family violence orders which highlights the proactive approach taken to monitor offenders and hold them accountable for their actions.“