Crime drops, but assaults up in Civic

ASSAULTS, sexual assaults, robberies and burglaries in the ACT are down, but Civic remains a “hot spot” for offences, with assaults rising from 72 in the second quarter of 2011 to 86 in the corresponding period this year.

Motor vehicle thefts across the Territory are also up when compared with the same period (April to June) last year.

Latest crime statistics show assaults in the inner south fell by 56 per cent, property damage by 34 per cent, and general (other than motor vehicle) theft by 25 per cent. The inner north experienced declines in every category apart from motor vehicle theft and road collisions with injury.

While all areas of Canberra have shown a general decrease in crime in these quarters from 2011 to 2012, some localised areas have seen spikes in specific crime types.

Tuggeranong for example experienced an increase in vehicle theft from 52 vehicles in the second quarter of 2011, to 94 in the corresponding period this year. Woden’s vehicle thefts also rose from 31 to 51, with burglaries in the inner south rising by 34 per cent. Police attribute these localised rises to a small number of active offenders on the south side in this quarter.

The entertainment and retail precincts in the city area remain a hot spot for offences with assaults increasing from 72 in the second quarter of 2011 to 86 for the same period this year.

General theft however (other than motor vehicles) remains stable with 193 reported incidents in the corresponding 2011 quarter and 194 this quarter. All other offence/incident types are stable in number except for burglaries in the city which fell from 22 in the 2011quarter to just eight in this years’ quarter.

Acting Superintendent Chris Meagher said that the latest quarter statistics can reflect seasonal differences such as the reduction in pedestrian traffic and general activity with the onset of cooler weather, but he was encouraged by the direct quarter comparison, in which serious crime types, including offences against people, showed a decline.

“We recognise the potential for offences and incidents to spike in specific areas, sometimes as a result of an increase in offending activity by a small group of recidivist offenders, and with small sample sizes, percentage increases or decreases can be skewed,” he said.

“Reporting methodology may also affect the consistency of crime statistics, so Canberrans need to understand that statistics are a broad guide to crime rates.”



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