The number of recorded burglaries in the region has plummeted over the past year, dropping almost 30 per cent, which police have attributed, in part, to tougher bail laws.
Across Greater Bendigo, 579 burglaries or breaking and entering attempts were recorded in the 12 months to September 2018, Crime Statistics Agency figures reveal.
Burglaries were at their lowest level since 2014, and overall crime had dropped marginally since September 2017.
Bendigo police acting inspector David Rowe said tougher bail laws introduced by the state government on July 1 had helped police focus on recidivist offenders.
“To me it (new bail laws) has had a substantial affect. Generally recidivist offenders in the community commit the majority of burglaries and thefts, and the tougher laws go a long way to preventing and stopping this behaviour,” he said.
The new bail laws strengthen the test for people to be granted bail, with decision-makers encouraged to take into account a person's potential risk to community safety and the likelihood of them failing to appear at a further hearing.
Those seeking bail also have to pass an exceptional circumstances test, which one magistrate sitting in Bendigo recently described as a “pretty high bar”.
Acting inspector Rowe said Bendigo police had a team focused on residential burglaries, which had produced good results.
Recorded crime dropped by about three per cent across Greater Bendigo over the past 12 months, in keeping with statewide averages.
The major contributors to the 7367 recorded offences were theft (2005) breaches of orders (1053) and assaults (863).
Acting inspector Rowe said family violence incidents remained a significant part of police work.
Police were ramping up their presence in the central business district and entertainment precinct, he said.
“Any reduction in crime is a good thing but we can't rest on our laurels – we need to keep pushing,” he said.
Acting inspector Rowe said recorded crime didn’t necessarily give a full picture of offending in the region.
“There's no doubt the community don't report everything that occurs for various reasons, certainly we find in the more rural areas certain things don't get reported to us – people don’t want to bother the police – but we certainly want to hear about what goes on,” he said.
Across Victoria, recorded crime rates were at their lowest since September 2015.
The number of burglaries and breaking and entering offences fell by 14 per cent to 42,170.
Over the past 10 years the number of criminal incidents recorded by Victoria Police has increased by 22.2 per cent, according to the CSA.
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