Moama cops it in crime statistics

June 12, 2017

ASSAULTS, thefts and drug crime are on the rise across Moama.

ASSAULTS, thefts and drug crime are on the rise across Moama.

According to the latest crime data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, there were 37 assaults in the 12 months to March 2017 — a 48 per cent jump from the year before.

Half was domestic-related violence, also up from the year before.

Deniliquin police Inspector John Aichinger said this showed people were confident reporting to police.

He said putting offenders before court and seeking protection orders were all measures to reduce the level of violence in the community.

Drug crime is also up 8 per cent and of the 71 arrests, more than a third were amphetamine-related — more than cannabis offences.

However, Insp. Aichinger put a positive spin on it, saying drug detections were up because of proactive policing and targeted operations of offenders in the Moama area.

‘‘Police believe that illicit drug use within the entire command is higher than what is reported, but we rely heavily on people in the community to report suspicious activity to their local police or Crime Stoppers so that we can further target drug users and, in particular, drug suppliers,’’ he said.

Moama’s most prevalent crime is theft — which is up nine per cent to 223 offences — compared to 204 the previous year.

Most thefts were breaking and entering with 64 offences, while stealing from a motor vehicle dropped from 43 to 25.

Insp. Aichinger said theft on any level was a concern to police.

‘‘Many of the reported thefts in the Moama area arise from insecure items, being left in unlocked vehicles or unlocked houses and, in particular for the Moama area, unlocked cars and accommodation for tourists visiting the area,’’ he said.

‘‘Whilst police will always target offenders and proactively patrol areas that we think are higher risk for thefts, our responsibility is also to educate the public as best we can in regards to victim hardening, making sure that people take steps to prevent them from becoming victims of theft.’’

Against justice procedures increased four-fold to 35 offences, which Insp. Aichinger said was a result of greater bail checks, AVO compliance checks and detecting people who fail to appear at court.

‘‘This is predominantly a proactive police activity, that is, we actively search for these offenders,’’ he said.

Liquor offences more than tripled to 16, which Insp. Aichinger said was partly due to greater proactive measures by the licensees.

‘‘The use of infringements such as fail to quit and move on offences, which stem from proactive licensed premises patrols as well as from switched on licensees and their associated bar staff and security,’’ he said.

In other figures, sexual offences went down by one to four, fraud offences increased by four to 29 and prohibited and regulated weapons charges went up by four to 14.

Insp. Aichinger said police would continue to target offenders from all reported crime and proactively seek to reduce the incidents of these crimes through greater patrols, education and intervention.

‘‘The introduction of the random drug testing unit at Moama police station is a great tool which has only been implemented in the last month as part of a state roll-out and already drug driving offenders have been detected and dealt with,’’ he said. ‘‘Moama police will also continue to work closely with their counterparts in Echuca targeting cross-border crime.’’

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