Jump in crime figures

By Jared Loughnan

Moira Local Government Area has seen a 56 per cent jump in overall crime incidents since 2015, jumping from 1078 in 2015 to 1685 in 2019.

In that time, incidents of theft have risen from 242 in 2015 to 512 in 2019, while burglaries rose from 130 in 2015 to 259 in 2019.

Incidents of theft and burglaries are significantly lower in neighbouring areas than Moira.

Wangaratta LGA has had 419 theft and 94 burglary incidents so far this year, while Benalla LGA only had 198 theft and 61 burglary incidents.

Wodonga LGA, which supports a larger population, had 586 incidents of theft and 247 incidents of burglary only marginally above Moira.

Cobram Crime Investigation Unit Senior Sergeant Darren McGrillen said the increase of theft and burglary in the past four years was in part related to drugs and said recent breakthroughs by police had already seen a decrease in similar crime incidents.

‘‘Burglary and theft have significantly increased in part due to out of area offenders attending and committing these offences in Moira and an increase in the prevalence of the use and trafficking in drugs such as ice,’’ Sgt McGrillen said.

‘‘In recent months we have made significant arrests through the good work of number of units, including Cobram CIU and Moira uniform stations, Eastern Crime Squad, Wangaratta Divisional Tasking Unit, Cobram highway patrol and Wangaratta crime scene.

‘‘These arrests, changes in rostering, tasking and crime prevention strategies has resulted in a significant decrease in property related crime in Moira within recent months.

‘‘A large proportion of these offenders have an addiction to illicit substances, in particular, ice.’’

In recent months police have seized drugs and a large amount of stolen property has been recovered as a result of arrests.

‘‘A number of these offenders are currently on bail with strict conditions, on remand awaiting court or have been sentenced. Recent arrests have already seen a decrease in offences in Moira.’’