Latrobe Valley crime up 12 per cent

After three years of Daniel Andrews, crime in the Latrobe Valley has increased by more than 12 per cent, Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath says.

New figures released by the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency last week show 13,348 offences were recorded in Latrobe Valley local government area in the year to December 2017 – an increase of 12.2 per cent since Daniel Andrews took office in December 2014.

Postcode data for Morwell shows there were 879 assaults, robberies and related offences in the year to December 2017 – up 3.9 per cent from on the previous year.

Drug offences in Morwell increased 57.2 per cent in the same period, to 228 offences, while weapons and explosives offences increased 56.5 per cent to 205 offences.

In Traralgon, assaults, robberies and related offences increased by 9.6 per cent to 1,040 offences in that period, while deception increased 50 per cent to 258 offences.

“We are in the grips of a law and order crisis, but the Premier has watered down bail laws, weakened sentencing and failed to equip our regional police with adequate resources to protect our streets,” Ms Bath said.

“Figures show Victorians are more likely to be victims of crime than anywhere else in Australia, with almost 50,000 additional offences recorded in the year to December 2017 compared to the year before Daniel Andrews took office.”

Leia Wood is one member of the Latrobe Valley community who has felt the impact of crime – her home was burgled last year.

“It’s an awful feeling knowing that someone has broken into your home,” Ms Wood said.

“In our case, some of the things taken were very personal – the last letter my nan wrote to me and war medals that belonged to my grandfather and great-grandfather from both World War I and World War II. Now they are gone forever.”

Ms Bath reflected that crime in the community is a serious issue; more than simply sets of numbers.

“These are real crimes that have devastating impacts on real people,” Ms Bath continued.

“Latrobe Valley residents have a clear choice in November between Daniel Andrews, who has spent three years failing on crime, or the Liberal Nationals, who have a clear plan to make Victoria safe again.”