While the numbers sound frightening, there are a lot of positives to draw from the recent Crime Statistics Agency data.
Northern Grampians Shire’s overall crime rate has increased by 17.5 per cent percent in the 12 months to June, in line with other areas of western Victoria, but more than double the state average.
It is also the fifth year in a row that the region saw an increase in the number of crimes.
But this can mean our community has progressively become better at working together towards reporting crime and has built the confidence in local law enforcement’s ability to do their job.
Drug offences in the Northern Grampians region are up a whopping 111 per cent, recording 173 incidents from 82.
Drug use and possession increased by 110 per cent to 179 cases while drug dealing and trafficking rose by 116 per cent to 13 cases- matters of people cultivating and manufacturing drugs increased from 5 to 11.
Sounds very frightening, doesn’t it?
But these are more quantities of drugs being taken away from the dangerous hands of dealers and off from our streets.
Property damage and petty crime is an issue that continues to plague Stawell and other towns across the region.
But recent figures suggest local law enforcement is making en-routes towards curbing this.
Overall crimes against property, which included burglary, theft, arson property damage and deception, decreased by almost five per cent to 443 incidents.
Arson was down from 28 incidents to 22, property damage decreased from 166 to 136 incidents and theft, from a premises and motor car, was down by ten- 180 incidents to 170.
Small country towns are best known for their trusting communities, thriving off the generosity and support shown towards one another.
It would be very sad to see Stawell lose this community spirit.
We can help prevent this from happening.
But we need to continue reporting any suspicious or reckless behaviour- to keep perpetrators accountable and to keep our community safe from crime.
If anyone knows any information, you are encouraged to call Stawell Police Station on 5358 8222 or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.