The Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) has just released the Victorian crime statistics for the year ending June 30, 2021, detailing an increase of 15.8% in the number of criminal incidents in Bass Coast.

More worryingly though, the incidents of family violence are up from 738 to 967 criminal incidents, or 31%, well in excess of the state increase in “family incidents” of 4.9%.

The number of criminal incidents in South Gippsland has remained stable with an increase of 0.9%.

However the number of family incidents in South Gippsland is up by 30.4% from 508 to 532.

Of the 2145 total crime incidents in Bass Coast to June 2021, up from 1853 last year, charges were laid in only 38.4% of cases, with 34.6% of incidents remaining unsolved and no charges laid in relation to 27% of the criminal incidents.

Crimes against the person including assaults (403), stalking/harassment (115) were up from 392 to 634, property damage, thefts etc were down from 927 to 904 and drug offences in Bass Coast were also down from 95 to 70. Breaches of court orders were up from 321 to 399.

The increases in Bass Coast go against the state-wide trend. In the 12 months to June 30, 2021, the criminal incident rate decreased 6.6% to 5673 per 100,000 Victorians as did the number of incidents, down 6.9% to 378,877 incidents.

The recorded offences rate decreased 3.7% to 7823.3 100,000 Victorians in the last 12 months, as did the number of offences, down 4.0% to 522,486.

Despite this overall decrease, several offence types increased across the state in the last 12 months.

The largest increase in the last 12 months was observed for Public health and safety offences (up 26,446 to 32,561 offences), the majority of which were breaches of Chief Health Officer (CHO) directions related to the COVID-19 public health response.

Breaches of family violence orders also increased (up 7236 to 55,252 offences).

Alleged offender incidents increased by 15.4% (26,113 incidents) to 195,705 in the last 12 months, the rate also increased by 15.6% to 3,334.4 per 100,000 Victorians.

There were 31,971 alleged offender incidents related to public health (the vast majority were for breaches of CHO directions) an increase of 457.0% or 26,175 incidents. This was followed by E21 Breach of family violence order up 22.1% or 2960 to 16,356 incidents. Conversely, the number of B40 Theft alleged offender incidents declined 16.0% or 5261 to 27,704 incidents.

The victimization rate decreased by 12.4% to 3011 reports per 100,000 Victorians as did the count of person victim reports which were down 12.7% to 201,079, the largest year on year drop the CSA has reported.

Family incidents increased 5.9% in the last 12 months to 93,440 incidents, as did the rate of family incidents, also up by 6.2% to 1399 incidents per 100,000 Victorians. Half (50.8%) of the family incidents resulted in at least one criminal offence this proportion has remained stable over the last five years.

CSA Chief Statistician Fiona Dowsley said that “the decreases in the key crime measures, Recorded offences, Criminal incidents and Victim reports, have coincided with COVID-19-related restrictions on movement. The volume decrease during this time has been observed largely in the acquisitive and more opportunistic crime types such as thefts. Conversely there have been increases in breaches of orders including family violence orders and Chief Health Officer directions. As a result, we continue to record higher numbers of Alleged offenders in the last 12 months.”