By Jade Lawton
ROBBERIES in Cardinia Shire have almost doubled over the past year, according to new crime statistics – but overall crime has fallen by about 10 per cent.
Police recorded 31.1 robberies in 2009, compared to just 16.4 in 2008.
The statistics, calculated per 100,000 people in the Cardinia Police Service Area, are available on the Victoria Police website.
Inspector Wayne Viney said police were pleased with the overall reduction in crime, which included significant drops in crimes against the person, burglary and car thefts.
“This has been achieved through intelligence-led tasking of patrols and targeting of recidivist offenders,” he said.
“Other excellent achievements have been made through partnerships with the Cardinia Shire Council. A reduction in property damage can be attributed to the Cardinia Shire Graffiti Reference group.”
Road injuries dropped about 30 per cent, with 185 injured on Cardinia Shire roads in 2009, compared to 257 in 2008.
There were also fewer fatalities.
Inspector Viney said although the number of vehicles on Cardinia roads continued to increase each year, they had reduced the number of collisions in which the occupants were killed by 42.9 per cent, or seriously injured by 24.2 per cent.
“Our road policing efforts will continue to focus on the driver behaviours that contribute to road trauma, with a rigid enforcement of speed, alcohol, mobile phone and seat-belt offences,” he said.
“Saturation operations, increased use of road safety cameras and increased random breath testing will continue to support this approach.”
Inspector Viney attributed the increase in assaults to wider reporting of family violence.
“As police we cannot and will not tolerate this type of behaviour. We will continue to charge those who commit family violence with assault, whilst assisting victims to ensure they receive the counselling and support they need,” he said.
“Finally we will focus on stamping out public order offences such as drunken behaviour, damage to public property and offensive behaviour.
“We will target licensed premises that fail to fulfil their obligations regarding responsible service of alcohol and those people who believe the streets belong to them.”
Inspector Viney said reporting crime and suspicious activity was vital in helping police reduce crime.
The neighbouring Casey Police Service Area reported a 4.3 per cent fall in crime. Serious injury collisions also dropped by a third.
Inspector Viney encouraged residents to contact 000 for urgent police attendance and call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or a local police station to provide information.
By Jade Lawton