2013 figures - Tamworth crime rates going down

ARMIDALE has the fifth highest rate of stealings from cars in the state, while there are “stand out problems in Moree”.

The latest crime numbers are a mixed bag for the region, with good news for Tamworth, but there are soaring rates of fraud in Inverell.

The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) expert Dr Don Weatherburn said the Moree Plains Shire was still a problem area for crime.

“Terrible news is that its rates of crime are between 1.6 times and 6.5 times the state rate,” he told The Leader.

“The worst was break-and-enter dwelling which is six-and-a-half-times the state rate.

“Nothing went up but ... they’re still huge problems.”

The crime rates were looked at over the 12 months to December last year, and covered the local government boundaries.

The statistics showed a comparison from the previous year as well as the state average and Tamworth was the stand out for falling rates in the New England.

“Tamworth is doing the best,” Dr Weatherburn said.

“It’s motor vehicle theft, steal from motor vehicle, break-and-enter rates are right on the state average, which is unusual for a regional area.”

There was a 31 per cent drop in break-ins to homes and 21 per cent to non-dwellings while there was also a 19 per cent drop in assaults.

Armidale Dumaresq saw a 61 per cent hike in stealings from cars and a similar jump in stealings from homes on the previous year, but police have maintained there have been significant arrests in that area.

The BOCSAR numbers are different to police intelligence and consequently can contravene some of the inroads police have made this year.

Inverell saw a “whopping increase” in break-ins according to Dr Weatherburn while fraud was up too.

Dr Weatherburn said it wasn’t known whether people were being ripped off over the internet or stolen credit cards were being used, but despite the increase Inverell’s rate was still less than half the state average.

In comparison, Narrabri’s fraud rate dropped by almost half – one of the only places in the state to do so.

Gunnedah saw a 38 per cent rise in assaults and a jump in malicious damage as did Tenterfield too.

Dr Weatherburn said historically, the mixed bag of results was different to the state trends.

“Crime rates have dropped much less in regional NSW between 2000-2009 than the urban parts,” he said.

“It’s time to give regional NSW more attention.”

n Police deserve credit for crime drop: editorial, page 6

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