Family violence remains biggest issue

Crime statistics in Yarrawonga have increased over the past 12 months while generally decreasing in the Moira Shire, however family violence remains the biggest issue.

Crime in Yarrawonga has increased in the 12 months ending March 31, 2022 with domestic violence numbers once again increasing.

Twelve months’ worth of police and victim reports were released by the Crime Statistics Agency recently with the Moira Local Government Area (LGA) overall experiencing a decrease of 3.5% of annual criminal incidents than the same period last year.

However in a number of areas, Yarrawonga’s statistics increased.

In Yarrawonga alone, there was 345 criminal incidents recorded in the 2022 period, 39 more than the 320 incidents recorded in 2021.

In 2021 there were 37 criminal incidents related to breach of family violence orders with the figure increasing to 51 in 2022.

Across the Moira Shire in 2021, there were 1630 criminal incidents recorded and in 2022 there were 1573 incidents.

In that time incidents of thefts increased by 15 but sadly there was another increase in family violence incidents.

Alarmingly Family Incidents, other parties and affected family member incidents increased by 9.2% from 466 incidents in 2021 to 509 in 2022.

Wangaratta Police Acting Senior Sergeant Tim Hart said there are several factors as to why domestic violence numbers have risen once again although we endured less lockdowns than the last reporting period.

“In terms of domestic violence numbers still being on the increase I think that could be due to a number of aspects,” Snr Sgt Hart said.

“There has been an increased confidence in violence victims to come forward and report incidents as well as the Police’s increased target of recidivists which also leads to more reporting.

“We assure the community that we will continue to monitor, and intervene to ensure people are safe within their own homes.”

Snr Sgt Hart said the increases in some and decrease in other percentages of criminal incidents, offences recorded, victim reports and alleged offender incidents can be effected by being a smaller regional area.

“The percentages are hard to speak about as we could go weeks without significant incidents but then we have two or three significant cases and the percentage increases a fair bit,” Snr Sgt Hart said.

“By and large I believe Moira Shire is a desirable and safe place to live.”

Across Victoria in the 12 months to March 31 the criminal incident rate decreased 11.2% to 5,142.2 per 100,000 Victorians as did the number of incidents, down 11.5% to 470,405 incidents.

Alleged offender incidents decreased 18.3% to 161,270 in the last 12 months, as did the rate down 18.6% to 2,744.9 per 100,000. This decrease was driven by fewer property and deception offences, breach of public order and security offences and drug offences crime types.

On the other hand, E21 Breach family violence orders remained stable while B21 Criminal damage decreased by 30 cases.

Victorian Police Deputy Commissioner Regional Operations, Rick Nugent said it was pleasing to see an overall reduction in crime across Victoria over the past year due in part to covid restrictions however the result remains a positive outcome for the Victorian community.

“While the impact of the pandemic and the associated restrictions last year has clearly contributed to the overall decrease in crime, it was incredibly positive to see serious offences which greatly impact the community continue to steadily decline,” Mr Nugent said.

“With each victim of crime being one person too many, we are pleased to see the lowest number of victims since the introduction of the Law Enforcement Assistance Program in 1993.

“There were 4,182 less victims of crime than the previous year, and when comparing to pre-pandemic levels, there were 41,061 less victims than the year ending March 2020.

“It’s incredibly pleasing to see crime continue to reduce not only year-on-year, but from the levels we saw pre pandemic as well.

“Importantly, we are seeing a reduction in the number of victims in our community and the number of people offending, particularly in relation to youth – this shows our collaboration with external partners to implement early intervention initiatives is making an impact and diverting young people away from crime.

“It’s positive to see a reduction in serious crimes that have long lasting impacts such as home burglaries and robberies – we know the impact these crimes have on how safe people feel in their own homes and neighbourhoods and we will continue to do everything we can to disrupt this offending.

“Whether it’s the local police officers patrolling your neighbourhood, the AirWing’s eyes from up above, the PSOs patrolling your local train station, specialist investigators listening to the stories of victims and supporting them, or the detectives knocking on the doors of known serious and violent criminals - be assured Victoria Police is doing everything we can to keep you safe.”

  • If you are experiencing family violence, 24/7 help is available: 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).
  • If you witness any crime, contact local police at Yarrawonga on 5744 3641, Mulwala Police on 5743 8099, Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Cobram CIU on 5871 1977. For emergencies contact 000.