Crime nears pre-pandemic levels

March 29, 2024 BY

THE LATEST Victorian crime figures have been released, and though offences have increased by over eight per cent, police say they’re not overly concerned.

There were 523,523 criminal offences recorded in Victoria in the 2023 calendar year, representing an increase of 40,351 offences, or 8.4 per cent from 2022.

However, this is still below the last year of pre-pandemic crime statistics, 2019, by 2.3 per cent.

The true crime rate, which factors in Victoria’s population growth over the years, stands at 7,698.2 offences per 100,000 people – a 5.6 per cent increase from 2022.

Deputy Commissioner Regional Operations, Neil Paterson said crime was still relatively low in Victoria, looking at figures from the past 10 years.

“Crime in Victoria has gradually increased over the past few years as Victorian life has returned to normality post pandemic,” he said.

“When population is considered, Victoria pleasingly still has its third lowest crime rate at any point over the past decade – ahead of only 2022 and the COVID-marred 2021.

“While this is positive, that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas of concern.

“Child offending remains a real challenge for police and significant driver of serious and violent crime in Victoria.”

Youth gang members are being targeted by Victoria Police as part of Operation Alliance, and young burglars and car thieves are continually arrested and put before the courts under Operation Trinity.

“These operations have led to over 5,000 combined arrests over the past year, with Operation Trinity alone leading to the arrest of almost four burglars and car thieves every day – the vast majority children,” Deputy Commissioner Paterson said.

For the 12 months to the end of December 2023 in Moorabool, all five of the top five suburbs for crime saw increases in criminal incidents.

Bacchus Marsh saw 880 offences recorded (693 in 2022), Darley had 549 (379 in 2022), Maddingley had 325 (compared to 259), Ballan had 258 (versus 150) and Gordon recorded 64 (51 in 2022).

The most recorded offences were breach family violence order, steal from a motor vehicle, other theft, criminal damage, and motor vehicle theft.

Overall, Moorabool Shire saw a 28 per cent increase in total offences recorded.