CRIME across the region has increased with break and enters to dwellings and stealing from motor vehicles registering some of the biggest increases over the past two years ending in June, according to crime statistics released yesterday.
But the actual theft of motor vehicles and break and enters to non-dwellings have fallen across the northern statistical division, which takes in the Tamworth, Moree and Armidale areas and further north to Tenterfield.
While fraud and domestic violence-related assaults have also increased across the north, non-domestic violence-related assaults, in public areas, has decreased.
Malicious damage to property – a real problem in the past – has only registered a minor increase of 3 per cent.
Murder victims have fallen from four to one in the two-year-period.
The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) has revealed in its NSW Recorded Crime Statistics: June 2012 quarterly report that the state’s crime, in general, is remaining stable, or falling.
For the Tamworth Regional Council area, however, the statistics paint a picture that stealing from motor vehicles continues to be a problem. It’s increased by 56 per cent and while car theft has fallen across the region as a whole, it’s risen by 13 per cent in the Tamworth area.
It reflects what the NSW Police Association Tamworth branch revealed at the law and order meeting last week that motor vehicle theft in the Oxley Local Area Command (LAC) – Tamworth district – has increased by 74 per cent over a 12-month period.
In June, police had said there were 35 motor vehicles reported stolen in the Oxley LAC – with 32 going missing in Tamworth alone.
Break and enters to Tamworth dwellings have also risen by 30 per cent – from 567 in the 2011 period to 739 in 2012 – with steal from dwellings also recording an increase of 13 per cent.
But break and enters to Tamworth non-dwellings registered a decrease of 16 per cent as did non-domestic- violence related assaults decreasing at 5 per cent.
Crime in the Armidale Dumaresq local government area (LGA) has remained steady, with the biggest increase registered in stealing from retail stores.
Despite a rise of 17 per cent rise in stealing from motor vehicles, theft of motor vehicles has decreased. New England LAC crime coordinator Sergeant Stuart Gray put that down to people maintaining security of their vehicles and regular CCTV monitoring. He said overall, the command was travelling rather well.
While crime trends over the past five years revealed the Glen Innes and Guyra LGAs registered increases in property offences, Sergeant Gray said that wasn’t as serious as it sounded because their populations were proportionately smaller. And there were no other significant changes at Armidale over the years.
The Moree Plains LGA has registered falls in break and enters to dwellings and non-dwellings, but Barwon LAC crime manager Detective Inspector Gavin Rattenbury said those crimes were spiking again.
He said property theft, which remained steady according to the BOCSAR figures, was also an issue and police had a number of initiatives in place to combat that, including the specialist Strike Force Tilson.
Domestic violence assaults remained steady and Detective Inspector Rattenbury said police have been engaging with the community to come forward and report those offences.