A 13.2 per cent drop in ‘Crimes against the person’ on the Mornington Peninsula in the year to March was the result of police “successfully partnering“ with the community, police inspector Karen Nyholm said last week.
She cited a 10.1 per cent drop in assaults, and a similar drop in assaults excluding family violence, as “highlighting the holistic approach to increasing personal safety”.
But, sadly, crimes against property rose from 5586 to 6292 – up 12.6 per cent; drug offences rose from 377 to 402 – 6.6 per cent and ‘other’ crime rose from 1467 to 1650 – up 12.5 per cent. Total crime was up 8843 to 9570 – 8.2 per cent.
But inspector Nyholm said crimes which “touch us personally” have the greatest impact on a community. “The tragic events that unfolded at Tyabb in February with the tragic death of Luke Batty highlighted the complex and ongoing challenges that many families face on a daily basis.
“Mental health and family violence are community issues that continue to harm lives and result in tragic consequences. Police will continue to focus on empowering victims and working with their support partners to improve the safety of those affected.”
The Mornington Peninsula has three 24 hour police stations at Mornington, Hastings and Rosebud and other stations at Dromana, Rye and Sorrento.
Supporting these are crime investigations units, highway patrol, family violence unit, crime scene services, crime prevention, youth resources, and a crime tasking unit. Insp. Nyholm said more police would come as a result of the ‘1700’ police rollout across the state.
“Police continue to enforce public order around licensed venues and the Mornington Liquor Accord has provided a welcome platform for police and venue owners to address alcohol-fuelled violence.
“The Mornington Peninsula offers a very safe environment to live, work and holiday – but the reality is opportunistic thieves exist in our midst. Operation Ranger is an investigative taskforce focusing on theft from cars and theft of cars and is achieving good results. Police have identified a high percentage of these crimes occurring when cars and houses are left unlocked.”
She said community members can take simple steps to help avoid becoming victims of these crimes.
“Road safety on the peninsula is a focus of all police units and the results have shown a further reduction in serious injury collisions by 16.8 per cent. Drivers are slowing down and, as a result, saving lives. Police will continue with enforcement operations including booze buses, back road operations for drink drivers and vigilance in detecting illegal phone users.”