The Bendigo region’s worst crime categories have been unveiled in a report released by the Bendigo Loddon Primary Care Partnership.
Property damage came in at number one ahead of justice procedures and theft (shop steal), despite decreasing by 12.6 per cent since 2009-10.
The top three made up a total 33 per cent of all crimes, according to 2011 census data.
Despite higher rates recorded for these particular crimes, the community health and well-being profile showed the Bendigo Loddon catchment had a lower rate of all main crime categories compared to the Victorian average.
Between 2009-10 and 2010-11, overall crime rates reduced in the City of Greater Bendigo, but increased in Loddon Shire.
However rates for particular crimes were higher than the state average in Bendigo, in rape, sex crimes (non-rape), theft (shop steal), theft of a bicycle and regulated public order.
In Loddon, homicide, sex crimes (non-rape), arson property damage, and weapons/explosives were just some of the crime rates above the state average.
Bendigo Police Inspector Mark Edwards said he was aware figures were up in the crime categories listed and that they remained part of ongoing police target operations.
Inspector Edwards said theft was one of their main concerns and it could often be avoided.
“These are opportunistic crimes, things stolen from cars and workplaces” he said.
“What we are trying to do is educate people to lock their cars, not putting valuables on display – simple things about looking after their property.
“We need to do a lot to make yourself not a victim.”
Sex crimes (non-rape) came in at number four in the region’s top crimes at three per cent.
Coming in fifth, recording an 11.8 per cent increase, was theft of bicycle, making up two per cent of all crimes.
At one per cent, rape also made the list, despite recording an 11.7 per cent decrease.
Inspector Edwards said that while the proportion of sex and rape crimes was worrying, he said the introduction of a sexual offences investigation team meant victims were more willing to come forward.
“Although the figures are concerning, it’s good that people are brave enough to report it,” he said.