Assaults are up

VICTORIA Police statistics indicate residents of the Wellington Police Service Area have almost twice the likelihood of being assaulted compared with the state average.

Total numbers of assaults in the police area rose from 387 for 2010-2011 to 581 for 2011-2012 an increase of 50.1 per cent.

Offences involving weapons or explosives also increased 200 per cent, from 31 to 93.

However the statistics alone do not tell the full story.

Instances of family-related violence reported to police increased significantly, during the time covered by the statistics, to a total of 214.

Wellington policing area Inspector Mick McGinn said the average person was not at a great risk of an unprovoked assault. In the majority of instances of assault, the assailant and the victim knew each other.

There has also been a significant increase in the number of drug offences identified.

Forty two offences involving cultivation, manufacturing and trafficking illegal drugs were reported, while 109 convictions for possession and use of a drug of dependence were recorded an increase of 70 per cent.

“This increase has come about as a result of our Tasking and Criminal Investigation Units pro-actively targeting known drug offenders,” Inspector McGinn said.

“Community assistance in this area, by way of the provision of valuable information regarding known or suspected drug activity has been of significant assistance in achieving this outcome.”

Burglaries from residences increased by 19 per cent, to 249, but other burglaries declined by 31 per cent to 169.

Thefts from cars and thefts of motor vehicles also declined.

“From a crime perspective we are pleased with the reduction in theft from motor cars and we thank the community for assisting us by locking their vehicles and removing valuable property from their vehicles when they are left unattended,” Inspector McGinn said.

“We have also experienced a decline in theft of motor vehicles, which is pleasing.

“However, these vehicles tend to be farm and recreational vehicles, so we again ask that you lock your motor bikes and four wheelers away.”

While any instance of domestic violence is disturbing, Inspector McGinn saw some positives in the increased rate of reporting.

´╗┐For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.