Spike in crime in Melton


Ewen McRae

By Ewen McRae

Crime is up across the Melton region according to latest Crime Statistics Agency data.

Despite months of lockdown limiting movement outside of households, Melton experienced a jump of 15.3 per cent in recorded incidents in the year to June 2020, with 9615 incidents per 100,000 members of the public.

Overall, Victoria recorded a 4.2 per cent increase in incidents per 100,000 people, with a 6 per cent rise in overall crime.

Crime Statistics Agency chief statistician Fiona Dowsley said that while Covid-19 had reduced the numbers of some crimes, others had seen a high jump through the lockdown period as police enforced the chief health officer’s directives.

“In the last six months there have been significant impacts from COVID-19 and the public health response,” Ms Dowsley said.

“Over 6000 offences were recorded for breaches of chief health officer directions in the year ending 30 June, 2020. However, pandemic impacts will carry through to future crime statistics and be the subject of further CSA analysis.”

More than 6000 fines were handed out across the state for breaches of the chief health officer’s orders.

Melton and Melton West were the hardest hit suburbs for crime, while Melton South saw a small improvement in overall numbers.

In Morrabool, there was a 6.3 per cent increase in criminal incidents during the reporting period.

Bacchus Marsh recorded the highest rate of incidents with more than twice as many incidents as second-placed Darley.

Deputy Commissioner of Regional Operations Rick Nugent said that the introduction of a new police assistance and online reporting service over the past 12 months had seen a number of under-reported crimes experience jumps.

“For various reasons people decide not to report crimes, and we know that,” Deputy Commissioner Nugent said.

“So these areas are often underreported, and what the assistance line and online reporting does is provide the community an opportunity to report crimes without coming into police stations.

“We are very keen, and very eager to see all crimes reported so we can better understand the environment that we’re operating in.”