A RISE in police reports of family violence during 2020 was consistent with increased demand at support services, leaders say.
Family violence incidents rose during 2020 across much of central Victoria, according to newly released data from the Crime Statistics Agency. The trend matches those statewide.
The rise comes despite a drop in total criminal incidents across many shires in central Victoria.
Centre for Non-Violence executive manager Yvette Jaczina said some women experienced violence for the first time during the pandemic, while for others violence from their partner escalated.
She said family violence rates were likely to be even higher than those reported to police.
Ms Jaczina said the service experienced consistent demand during 2020, which increased even after restrictions eased.
She said all CNV teams were operating at capacity or above to meet the community need for services.
Ms Jaczina said it was unsurprising police reports of violence had increased, as the pandemic limited women's opportunities to seek support before a crisis.
She called for ongoing increases funding for services such as CNV to work in case management, to avoid creating a bottleneck with new clients.
Criminal incidents dropped by 3.8 per cent in Bendigo during 2020, with a total 8121 recorded.
Bendigo, Golden Square and Long Gully all saw incidents drop, while numbers rose in Kangaroo Flat.
Criminal damage, stealing from a motor vehicle, breach of family violence order, other theft, and breach of bail conditions were the principal offences committed in Greater Bendigo.
Breach of family violence orders was the only category among these in which offences rose, from 646 in 2019 to 680 in 2020.
Family violence incidents rose by 18.3 per cent, to a total of 2330 in the 12 month period.
The municipality's criminal incident rate was equivalent to 6768 per 100,000.
The shire saw a 16.2 per cent drop in criminal incidents during 2020, compared to the previous year. A total 763 criminal incidents were reported.
Mount Alexander recorded a criminal incident rate equivalent to 3830 per 100,000 of population.
Criminal offences rose in Campbells Creek, but were down in Castlemaine, Maldon, Harcourt and Chewton.
Breach of family violence orders, drug possession, theft, criminal damage and stealing from a motor vehicle were the five most common offences committed.
The shire saw a drop in family violence incidents reported, down to 192 from 224 in 2019.
A total 2500 criminal incidents were reported in Campaspe during 2020, bringing its incident rate to 6643 per 100,000 people.
Incidents dropped by 14.3 per cent from the previous year. Criminal incidents rose in Rochester, but were down in Echuca, Kyabram, Tongala and Rochester.
Resisting or hindering arrest, breaches of family violence orders, theft, stealing from a motor vehicle and criminal damage were the principal offences committed.
The total number of family violence incidents reported dropped by 4.5 per cent.
Public health and safety offences soared in the Macedon Ranges during 2020. The shire reported just one of this offence type in 2019. In 2020 it reported 247.
Overall criminal incidents in the shire rose 10 per cent, from 1744 in 2019 to 1918 in 2020.
The shire's incident rate per 100,000 population was at 3758.
It saw a 14.4 per cent rise in family violence incidents, up to 517 from 452 the previous year.
Breaches of family violence orders, criminal damage, theft and steal from a motor car were the primary offences reported.
Criminal damage, breach of family violence orders, theft, family violence common assault and sexual offences were the principal offences reported in the Central Goldfields during 2020.
But criminal incidents in the shire dropped by 9.3 per cent, from 892 in 2019, to 809 in 2020.
It gave the Central Goldfields a criminal incident rate per 100,000 of 6116.6.
Reported family violence incidents dropped by 17.8 per cent in the shire.
Family violence incidents rose by 17.8 per cent in the Loddon Shire during 2020, outpacing the rise in other criminal incidents.
Criminal incidents rose by 5.6 per cent in the Loddon Shire during 2020. The 394 incidents reported gave the shire a rate of 5260 criminal incidents per 100,000.
Breach of family violence order, theft, criminal damage, public health and safety offences and residential non-aggravated burglary were the five most common offences.
Breach of public health and safety was the most common incident reported in Gannawarra during 2020, with a total of 73 instances recorded.
Breach of family violence order, theft, criminal damage and breach of bail conditions were the next most frequent offences.
Total criminal incidents rose by 8.7 per cent in Gannawarra during 2020, hitting 685.
Reported family violence incidents were down by 17.6 per cent.
The Gannawarra Shire had a rate of 6554 criminal incidents per 100,000 people.
Family violence incidents nearly doubled in Buloke during 2020. Reported incidents rose by 48.9 per cent, from 47 in 2019 to 70 in 2020.
Criminal incidents rose by 17.4 per cent in the Buloke Shire during 2020. Drug possession, theft, criminal damage, public health and safety offences and breach of family violence orders were the five most common principal offences.
FAMILY violence offences rose during 2020 across much of central Victoria new crime statistics for the year have revealed.
The trend mimics that seen across the state, which reported an near 10 per cent increase in family violence incidents during 2020.
The total number of criminal incidents dropped in several central Victorian municipalities during 2020, including Greater Bendigo.
But public health and safety offences rose in several shires, following a trend across Victoria attributed to new rules implemented to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Breach of family violence orders was in the top five principal offences for Greater Bendigo, Mount Alexander, Campaspe, the Macedon Ranges, the Central Goldfields, Loddon, Gannawarra and Buloke Shires.
The number of breaches rose in Greater Bendigo, Mount Alexander, the Macedon Ranges and Loddon.
The number of family violence incidents rose in Greater Bendigo, the Macedon Ranges, and the Loddon and Buloke shires during 2020.
Reported family violence incidents dropped in Mount Alexander, Campaspe and Gannawarra.
Across Victoria family violence incidents increased by 9.4 per cent in the year to December 2020. Crime Statistics Agency monthly trends showed each month in 2020 had a higher number of family violence incidents than in 2019.
Total criminal incidents dropped in Greater Bendigo, Mount Alexander, Campaspe and the Central Goldfields during 2020.
But incidents rose in Loddon, Gannawarra and Buloke shires, by between 5.6 and 17.4 per cent.
The Macedon Ranges also experienced a 10 per cent rise in criminal incidents, from 1744 in 2019 to 1918 in 2020. But the total number of public health and safety offences rose by more than the rise in the total number of offences.
A total of 247 of these public health and safety incidents were recorded in the Macedon Ranges in 2020, up from 1 in 2019.
Public health and safety order breaches were in the top five principal offences for several central Victorian municipalities. Several new offences in this category were created during 2020 relating to breaches of chief health officer directions, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with the Macedon Ranges, public health and safety offences were among the top five offences in Loddon, Gannawarra and Buloke.
Victoria recorded 37,505 breaches of chief health officer directions during 2020. Of these 4163 were for refusing or failing to comply with directions or requirements to wear a face covering.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
- Bookmark bendigoadvertiser.com.au
- Make sure you are signed up for our breaking and regular headlines newsletters
- Follow us on Twitter @BgoAddy
- Follow us on Instagram @bendigoadvertiser
- Follow us on Google News