Recorded crime in Greater Bendigo region jumps almost 30% in 2016

MAP: Change in offences recorded from 2015 to 2016.

Recorded crime in the Greater Bendigo region has jumped a staggering 28.9 per cent in 2016, latest police figures show.

Victoria Police recorded 10,828 offences in the year ending December 31, 2016, compared to 8400 the previous year.

And crimes recorded in the Bendigo postcode, 3550, jumped 31.9 per cent during the same period.

Greater Bendigo has seen the sharpest spike in recorded crimes of the larger regional areas in Victoria, according to figures released by the Crime Statistics Agency, with Ballarat (7.4 per cent) and Geelong (10.9 per cent) experiencing steady rises in offences.

Only Strathbogie Shire (35.6 per cent) and Benalla Rural City (36.8 per cent) had higher increases in recorded crime from 2015-16.

Breaches of court orders (1903), theft (1003), criminal damage (843), assault and related offences (784), and theft from a motor vehicle (878), were the main contributors to Greater Bendigo’s statistics.

There were seven homicide and related offences in 2016, according to the CSA figures, down from nine the previous year, and up from two in 2014.

Reported sexual offences increased marginally, from 273 in 2015 to 304 in 2016, while stalking and harassment and threatening behaviour had a massive 68 per cent rise during the same period – from 207-348.  

Campaspe Shire recorded the second highest rate of sexual offences per 100,000 population, with the Moira Shire Council, north of Shepparton, recording the highest.

Not taking population figures into account, the Eastern region had the highest number of sexual offences recorded for the past two years, followed by the North West Metro region. 

In 2016, the Local Government Areas with the highest number of recorded sexual offences were Melbourne (659), Ballarat (569), Casey (555), Greater Geelong (469) and Latrobe (428).

Of the 12,956 recorded sexual offences, more than 16 per cent remained unsolved as at January 18, 2017 when the data was extracted. 

The number of sexual offences recorded across Victoria in the past five years has increased by 45 per cent, latest crime figures show.

In the year ending December 31, 2016, Victoria Police recorded 12,956 sexual offences across the state, up from 8936 offences in the year ending 31 December, 2012.

There were 21.3 per cent of offences that resulted in an arrest and 24.3 per cent of offences resulted in a summons being issued.

Of the 7788 victim reports, 79.7 per cent involved a female victim while 18.8 per cent involved a male victim. The remaining victim reports involved a victim with an unknown sex.

In releasing the figures, the CSA said changes to the numbers and rates of sexual offences recorded may in part be affected by increases in reporting of historical incidents of sexual offences, following the establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2013.