At least one theft is reported at Pacific Werribee every day, new figures reveal.
Crime Statistics Agency data shows 2546 offences at the shopping centre were recorded in the five years between October 1, 2011, and September 30, 2016, with the bulk being property and deception offences.
The annual Pacific Werribee crime figures reveal no trend over the five years: October 2011-September 2012: 677; October 2012-Sept ember 2013: 522; October 2013-September 2014: 394; October 2014-September 2015: 398; October 2015-September 2016: 555.
Thefts (1681) accounted for more than half of all crime over the five-year period, followed by deception (222 offences), assault and related offences (129), and property damage (128).
In comparison, 4143 offences were recorded at Highpoint Shopping Centre in Maribyrnong over the same period. These included 3020 thefts, 514 deceptions, 130 cases of property damage, and 90 assault and related offences.
However, public nuisance offences at Pacific Werribee dropped from 104 in the 12 months to September 2012 to only three in the year to September 2016, a move Wyndham police’s Inspector Marty Allison attributed to visible police patrols.
“We’ve deployed the community safety team to Pacific Werribee primarily around having a visible police presence and public order.”
Inspector Allison said the bulk of crime was thieves stealing merchandise from retailers.
“Broadly speaking [they] will be those offenders who have stolen a credit card … and using paywave – anything under $100, you don’t need a pin number for,” he said.
Pacific Werribee centre manager Jonathan Codman said management had increased its security measures “significantly” in recent years.
“The safety of our visitors and security of the centre are of paramount importance,” he said. “We’ve established working relationships with the local police and community groups like the Victorian Maori Wardens, which we continue to strengthen.”