CRIME in the Oxley LAC has significantly increased across the board over the past 12 months, according to statistics presented at Thursday night’s public law and order meeting.
Oxley is also faring the worst in break and enters, motor vehicle thefts and missing persons when compared to similar neighbouring commands in the rest of the western NSW region.
Figures from January to August 2011 were compared to the same period this year and showed, among the more startling rises, that motor vehicle theft had increased by 74 per cent; children at risk – where police refer cases to Department of Community Services staff concerned for a child’s welfare – increased by 33 per cent; robbery increased by 35 per cent and break, enter and steal offences were up by 43 per cent.
While other crime categories registered minor changes (assaults only increased 4 per cent, and no change was recorded for malicious damages) significant gains were made by police in relation to missing persons – a decrease of 13 per cent – and mental health interventions by police were down by 6 per cent over the same period in the previous year.
Tamworth Police Association chairman Barry McMahon said one of the most frustrating statistics he had seen was bail compliance dropping by 42 per cent.
It reiterated what Oxley Local Area Command Superintendent Clint Pheeney had said previously about officers losing some of their power to monitor offenders and hold them accountable to the requirements of their conditional curfew bail. He said that was a direct result of changes made to state legislation earlier this year.
“It means people are failing to report on bail and police can’t make them,” Mr McMahon said.
Mr McMahon said there needed to be some meaningful changes made to policing numbers and legislation to improve the situation.
“There’s no doubt that things aren’t getting better in general,” he said.
“The bail and young offenders’ acts can certainly be amended to improve policing and better support our community.
“If these figures continue on the way they are, we’ll need another police station with another 120 officers here.”