Tough new laws yet to show in crime figures

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CRIME in Frankston and Mornington Peninsula is on the rise, with sex crimes, burglary and drug-related offences all increasing in the past 12 months.

Overall crime in Frankston has risen 12.5 per cent in the last financial year, while the peninsula’s reported crime is up 9.6 per cent.

In Frankston, sex offences increased by 70 per cent to 481, burglary and break and enter was up 24.6 per cent to 1180, and drug dealing and trafficking up almost 25 per cent to 242.

Of the 79 local government areas in the state, 75 had an increase in crime over the past 12 months.

Frankston’s neighbouring cities of Casey and Cardinia also had a bad year, with close to 20 per cent more crime than last year.

Frankston MP Paul Edbrooke said the increase was why the government had given police new powers and more resources to crackdown on violent crime, youth offending and family violence.

“There are more operations and targeted efforts to catch criminals, with police making more arrests and charging more offenders,” he said.

He said “operation cosmas” had made more than 180 arrests for violent crime since May, including ringleaders.

Mr Edbrooke said 19 PCOs were now employed at Frankston to free up police from the desk and get them back on the beat.

In response to an alarming incidence of carjacking and home invasions tough new laws have been introduced this year.

Carjacking carries a maximum penalty of 15 years, while aggravated carjacking a minimum of three years and maximum of 25 years.

Home invasion carries a maximum penalty of 25 years and aggravated home invasion attracts a minimum non-parole period of three years.

The number of offences across the state was 535,826, up 13.4 per cent from last year, with robbery up 14.2 per cent, theft up 19.2 per cent and public nuisance offences up 30 per cent.

Shadow police minister Edward O’Donohue said more police were needed.

First published in the Mornington News – 4 October 2016

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