Property crime is plummeting in Glen Innes, as violent crime drops statewide

Inspector Matt Hemsworth said he was pleased Glen Innes crime rates are dropping.
Inspector Matt Hemsworth said he was pleased Glen Innes crime rates are dropping.

Our region continues to have a high crime rate relative to the rest of NSW, but rates remain flat across the New England area. But Glen Innes' stats have bucked the regional trend, with massive drops in property crime.

Meanwhile NSW's crime is on the decline statewide, with violent crime at record low levels.

In new crime statistics measuring victimisation to December 2018, Glen Innes continues to have relatively high rates of domestic violence, sitting at 170% of the state average, putting us at number 20 in NSW. This is a relative drop from third in 2016.

The town also has a sexual assault rate 230% of the state average, with 16 offences in one year. Both of these crime rates are stable, going neither up nor down.

That's the bad news, said Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics Don Weatherburn. The good news is many other crimes are dropping.

"Glen Innes had great news on crime," he said.

"Fifty-one per cent drop in break and enter, sixty-one per cent drop in fraud and thirty-seven per cent drop in malicious damage to property."

The trend reflects September crime statistics which showed substantial drops in violent and property crime rates with an increase in minor domestic violence offences in Glen Innes.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) crime report, released Wednesday, measures both LGA-level rates and regional statistics. 

Our 'New England and North West' statistical area covers Tamworth to the border, as well as Moree and Narrabri.

Dr Weatherburn pointed to a "more troublesome economy, lower wages, unemployment" as problems for regional areas, along with "unique features" like regional petrol prices

"Crime never dropped in regional NSW as much as it did in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong," he said.

"It came down but didn’t drop as much."

He said Walcha has one of the places with the lowest property crime in the entire state, comparable with Kuringai on Sydney's north shore.

Another highlight: only one person was murdered in New England in 2018 and our murder rate is a hair above half the state rate (60%). This is a coincidence.

Inspector Matt Hemsworth, whose region covers Glen Innes, said he was pleased the stats were showing a declining trend.

"This will in no way stop our effort in reducing crime further," he said.

"And we'll continue to work towards reducing crime further in the township of Glen Innes."

Our regional crime rate for 2018 was 150% the state average, and 160% for violent offences and hasn't shifted a statistically significant amount in 60 months to December last year.

Far West and Orana, an area that includes Dubbo, Bourke, Walgett and Broken Hill has the highest crime rates in the state, 260% the state violent crime average. The lowest crime areas are all about equal, the Southern Highlands, Sydney, around Canberra, and the Illawarra.