Yesterday Victoria’s annual crime statistics were released for the year ending 30th September 2017. Crime in Victoria has been a big issue with home invasions, car jackings and violent street assaults receiving widespread media attention.
The state’s crime statistics released by the Crime Statistics Agency revealed at 6.2% drop in the crime rate. This was spun by the state Police Minister Lisa Neville and mainstream media outlets as the biggest drop in crime in over a decade.
So that does now mean that the violent crime wave that has been hitting Victoria was fake news, a tabloid media beat-up? If you look at the breakdown of the crime statistics it reveals a bittersweet picture of the state of crime in Victoria.
The crime trends since October 2015 show that arson down 24.6%, this makes sense given incidents of arson haven’t been in the news of late. Basic property damage is down 4.1% and basic theft is down 11.5%.
But the crime that has concerned most Victorians is violent crime, and the trend for those offences are all upwards. Sexual offences are up 18.0%, robberies up 12.6% (though Burglary/Break and enter is down 9.7% and dangerous and negligent acts endangering people are up 13.7% and deception is up 8.5%. The most common form of deception is meeting someone on social media and becoming a victim of violent or sexual assault.
Certainly, the release of these statistics won’t give many Victorians who are the victims of violent crimes any comfort. Residents in Caroline Springs in the north-west are sleeping with knives and baseball bats and have home invasion survival plans as the area is besieged by youth crime with many homeowners already leaving. Another home invasion hotspot where residents live in fear is Cranbourne in the city’s south-east.
Many have also highlighted the link between violent crime and increased third world immigration to the state. This is why the federal Immigration Minister is now looking at ways to deport violent youth offenders.
The real fake news is that Victoria is becoming safer. The more serious crimes their rates are increasing. The Andrews state government is still not doing enough to keep its citizens safe and going into a state election year it is certain to continue to be an issue that will be prominent in the election campaign.