– The aggressive drug ice and huge increases in reports of family violence and assaults are behind an extra 27,000 crimes committed in Victoria in the past year.
Drug offences have jumped a worrying 20.7%, assaults have shot up 14.2%, family violence skyrocketed 37%, and overall crimes against the person have risen 11.3%, according to Victoria Police statistics released yesterday.
Deputy Commissioner Lucinda Nolan said ice was use and family violence were major drivers behind crimes that have increased for two consecutive years after falling each year for the previous decade.
Detection of ice had ballooned 58%.
Police intelligence shows all high-purity ice is imported – though local traffickers reprocess lower grades – and there were efforts to curtail smuggling.
The overall crime rate across the state increased 5.9% – measured as a rate per 100,000 population – and the total number of crimes recording rose 7.5%, or up 27,516 offences to 395,406.
The statistics, comparing the year to September 2012 with the previous 12 months, showed other crimes, such as justice procedure offences (including intervention orders and bail breaches) and pubic behaviour offences (including drunkenness) increased 18.3%.
Motor vehicle thefts also increased, up 7.6% over the past year, while theft from motor vehicles was up 4.7% and overall property crime rose 1.7%.
The Herald Sun yesterday reported organised gangs were believed to be behind a spike in car thefts worth $12 million, taking the annual stolen vehicle cost to $133 million.
Commander Jeff Forti said Taskforce Rio had been established to respond to organised car thefts; 8000 vehicles were taken from the north-west.
Shadow police minister Jacinta Allen said the figures were alarming – Mark Dunn & Mitchell Toy