Insp_graeme_spragueBass Coast Police Inspector Graeme Sprague examines new crime statistics recently released by a new independent agency.

NEW statistics reveal a spike in crime in practically all areas of Bass Coast outside of Wonthaggi, but the region’s police inspector assures there’s no need for alarm.
Recently released figures from the Crime Statistics Agency confirm overall crime in the Bass Coast Police Service Area (PSA) rose by six per cent in 2014, with a total of 2468 offences recorded.
Crimes showing a marked increase included assaults (including family violence), which rose by 16 per cent (334 incidents), and sexual offences also jumped 29 per cent (95).
Interestingly, overall crime in the region’s most populated area, Wonthaggi, decreased significantly in 2014, dropping by 14 per cent (1041).
Crime in the Waterline area (Grantville, Coronet Bay, Tenby Point etc) rose by a whopping 31 per cent (381) last year, while incidents recorded around Inverloch jumped 22 per cent (200).
Inspector Graeme Sprague said that whilst some figures might appear high on first glance, the fact that Bass Coast’s population balloons out to 90,000 people during the peak holiday period can skew the results.
He also said people living in areas showing a notable increase in offences should not be concerned.
“Bass Coast is a safe shire and it’s a great place to live,” he said.
“We certainly monitor (these areas) on a weekly basis.”
And despite widespread community concern about methamphetamine (ice), overall drug offences were down 16 per cent (139) across the region last year.
Insp Sprague said that figure in particular may rise when the next quarterly batch of statistics are released, though, due to recent arrests made by Bass Coast Proactive Intelligence Tasking Unit (PIT).
“They have been extremely active in just the past month,”
he said.
As was evidenced in statistics across the rest of Victoria, Insp Sprague said the figures also show that the community is growing more confident in reporting assaults and family violence.
Anyone can view the detailed figures for Bass Coast and other areas by logging on to www.crimestatistics.vic.gov.au