Crime rate soars across Wyndham suburbs

A massive jump in anti-social behaviour and crimes involving weapons has fuelled a 22.2 per cent crime surge in Wyndham.

Statistics released by the Crime Statistics Agency reveal increases in almost every crime category in the 12 months to June 30, 2016, with public nuisance offences jumping 71.9 per cent from 64 offences to 110 over that period.

The spike has seen the number of public nuisance offences spiral back to figures not seen since the 2011-12 financial year, when 127 cases were recorded.

Public nuisance offences involve any low-level crimes that disturb public order and can include hoaxes, begging, defamation and libel, offensive behaviour or language, drunk and disorderly conduct and a host of other offences.

The crime stats also showed a 62.5 per cent increase in homicide and related offences, a 54.5 per cent arson spike and a 46.2 per cent rise in weapons and explosives offences. There were notable rises in drug offences, stalking, sexual offences, theft and breaking and entering.

Acting Inspector Damien Madden said it was disappointing to see any crime increases, but rises in such categories as justice procedures, public nuisance, and drugs and weapons offences indicate the proactive police work being done to cut crime.

He said, similarly, stalking offences were predominantly driven by an increased focus on family violence.

“We have seen a rise in the reporting of family violence which we view positively in that victims feel more supported by police when reporting incidents.”

There was a 186.5 per cent rise in justice procedures and a 49.4 per cent rise in breaches of court orders.

Acting Inspector Madden said the large jump in homicide and related offences – which include incitement to murder, attempted murder and culpable driving – could be attributed to the numbers of serious assaults, which included a road rage incident that resulted in an attempted murder charge.

Meanwhile, this year’s spate of grass fires along the banks of the Werribee River contributed to the rise in arson offences.

Acting Inspector Madden said the arrests of several people in relation to the grass fires had sent arson statistics decrease significantly in the past three months.