ACT Policing has issued its online crime statistics for the first quarter of 2012, reflecting a decline in assaults and property damage and an increase in motor vehicle theft and robberies reported to police compared with the same period (January to March) in 2011.
Acting Superintendent of ACT Policing Intelligence Chris Meagher said CrimeStatistics allow members of the community to see what crimes were occurring in the ACT and their suburb, with the ability to view trends over time.
“Of particular significance is the number of assaults reported in the City area has decreased from 101 to 76, or by 24.7 per cent,” Acting Superintendent Meagher said.
“We are concerned, of course, about the 19.2 per cent rise in robberies and the increase in motor vehicle theft. However, it’s through analysing this data that police are able to allocate more patrols and resources into trouble areas, and focus on patterns in particular crime types, which we’ve witnessed recently with several aggravated robbery arrests.”
Acting Superintendent Meagher also cautioned that any analysis of statistics online should compare the same reporting period to provide an accurate assessment, and warned of statistical anomalies which do not accurately reflect the true crime picture.
“It is important for the community to understand there may be a straight-forward explanation for a spike in offences in their neighbourhood.
“For example, sexual offences in Narrabundah increased from two in the January to March last year, to 32 in the first quarter of 2012. These 32 sexual offences relate to one historical case which was reported to police in January 2012, and which has since been finalised.
“The smaller the number of reported offences involved, the greater the chance for a dramatic percentage increase which may not reflect the situation. For example, robberies increased in the Belconnen region from 11 in January to March 2011, to 19 this quarter. As these are two relatively small numbers, for comparison purposes the community should look at the change in the number of offences, rather than the percentage increase.”
The online interactive CrimeStatistics on the ACT Policing website — police.act.gov.au — was launched earlier this year, and from today (Tuesday, May 15) has been further upgraded to include nine additional suburbs: Casey, Black Mountain, Duntroon, Harman, Williamsdale, Majura, Oaks Estate, Stromlo and Uriarra.
“The number of assaults reported to police across the ACT in this first quarter has decreased by 17.8 per cent when compared with the same period in 2011.
“We launched CrimeStatistics to provide the public with open source information they sought across a range of crime statistics, and encourage people to be proactive in reporting crime,” Acting Superintendent Meagher said.
Offence rates per 1000 population are not produced for suburbs with a population less than 350 as data becomes unreliable. This is particularly apparent for suburbs such as Fyshwick and Mitchell which have very small resident populations, however, due to a high proportion of businesses and the commercial nature of these suburbs may still be targeted by criminal behaviour.
Overall offences in the ACT across property and volume crime, including burglaries, robberies and motor vehicle theft, have continued to trend downward by 8.9 per cent, 26.8 per cent and 21.8 percent respectively when comparing 1 July 2011 to 31 March 2012 to the same period in 2010-11. (Please note overall ACT offence data includes rural sectors and regions which lie outside suburbs identified through CrimeStatistics.)