Crime rates are plummeting in Glen Innes, according to the latest police statistics.
Latest crime data, from September 2018, shows far fewer people have been victims of property and violent crime across the LGA compared with a year earlier.
There were just 99 charges of intimidation, stalking and harassment in 2017-2018, compared with 146 in 2016-17 – a drop of 32.2 per cent over two years.
Just 38 dwellings were broken into, as well as 19 non-dwellings. This is down from 93 and 60, a reduction of 60 per cent and 68 per cent.
Theft from motor vehicles is also down 73 per cent. Assaults are slightly down. And the number of victims of malicious damage is down 25 per cent.
Inspector Matt Hemsworth, whose responsibilities cover Glen Innes, said he didn’t attribute all the decline in crime to police.
”I can say police have been working very hard over the last 12-18 months to reduce crime. In particular we’re concentrating on our property offences, which flows on to our drug offences,” he said.
“And we concentrate on domestic violence and we’ve realised huge improvements in that area.”
Some crime statistics do show an increase. The police have charged 38% more people for breaching an apprehended violence order. AVOs are a form of restraining order that protect victims of domestic violence among others from further persecution.
Inspector Hemsworth says this is because police are catching more people doing the wrong thing early and prosecuting them for lower level offences, and the real rate of crime in the home is probably stable. The rate of domestic violence offending is down 8.1 per cent.
He said property offences are primarily committed by kids, and police have been getting them before they become habitual criminals, by being visible at community events and schools, and by identifying kids at risk, or who are prone to commit crime.
“We’ve been making sure kids have constant interaction with police, positive interaction with police.”
Far more people are being caught possessing or growing cannabis – 45, up from 26 and 13 up from 3 respectively. Again this is because more people are being caught.
“We’ve deliberately targeted cannabis dealers,” said Inspector Hemsworth.
”We’re lucky in Glen Innes that we don’t have a lot of other drugs around, but we take the same approach. If someone’s dealing ice then we’ll start targeting them.
“As recently as December we executed a warrant in Church street where we seized ice and drug paraphernalia and were able to lay supply charges for that person.”