By Alesha Capone
Wyndham’s total crime rate has increased by 15.3 per cent across 12 months, including a doubling of aggravated residential burglaries.
Victoria Police statistics for the year to March were released last week.
The data revealed that Wyndham’s overall crime rate has risen from 14,962 offences recorded in March 2018-March 2019 to 17,244 offences during March 2019-March 2020.
Crime rises included residential aggravated burglaries (from 74 to 157 offences), aggravated non-residential burglaries (from 729 to 815) and non-aggravated residential burglaries (from 320 to 421).
Point Cook recorded 35 aggravated burglaries (compared to 11 previously), Truganina 15 (four previously), Tarneit 22 (10 previously), Wyndham Vale 20 (nine previously) and Williams Landing eight (one previously).
There were also 38 aggravated residential burglaries in Werribee (22 previously) and 14 in Hoppers Crossing (13 previously).
Reports of family violence assaults increased (from 839 to 906 incidents) and non-family violence assaults (from 422 to 523 incidents).
As well, sexual offences grew in number (from 386 to 443 incidents), drug possessions (from 610 to 632 incidents) and criminal damage (from 1038 to 1245 incidents).
Aggravated robberies in Wyndham – robberies in which a weapon is used – also increased significantly (from 132 to 207 incidents).
Overall, there were 44 aggravated robberies in Hoppers Crossing (compared to 22 previously), 42 in Point Cook (21 previously), 36 in Tarneit (28 previously), 34 in Werribee (25 previously), 25 in Wyndham Vale (10 previously), 19 in Truganina (nine previously) and six in Williams Landing (11 previously).
Theft was a major driver of crime in Wyndham, such as motor vehicle thefts (from 494 to 699 cases), stealing from motor vehicles (from 1278 to 1816 cases) and stealing from retail stores (from 856 to 1084 cases).
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said Wyndham police were urging residents to maintain their home security, after noticing a rise in opportunistic burglary offences since the coronavirus restrictions were introduced in March.
“Local police intelligence shows there has been an increase in incidents where offenders have entered homes through unlocked doors and garages or [stolen] valuable items left in vehicles on the street,” the spokeswoman said.