The ACT has recorded a drop in person-to-person crimes in the latest quarterly statistics released by ACT Policing.
The number of sexual assaults reported to police from January to March this year was the lowest reported for a quarter since 2018, and person-to-person crime as a whole was down compared to the first quarter of last year.
The January to March 2021 quarterly crime statistics show sexual assaults declined from 122 to 106, assaults were down from 747 to 663, and other offences against a person decreased from 82 to 65.
Similar decreases were noticed in the number of property crimes reported compared to the first quarter of 2020. Burglary reports decreased from 624 to 464, robbery was down from 65 to 33, motor vehicle theft fell from 317 to 291, and reports of property damage declined from 1005 to 896.
The comparison holds up on Canberra’s roads, with the number of Traffic Infringement Notices issued decreasing from 2780 in the first quarter of 2020 to 1545 in the same period in 2020. Police admit this was partly due to road policing resources being deployed to help with COVID-19 compliance at ACT borders.
Deputy Chief Police Officer – Response Commander Michael Chew said the crime trends were encouraging, and he reminded Canberrans of the importance of reporting all crimes.
“We have long known that Canberra is one of the safest places in Australia to live, and ACT Policing is committed to ensuring that remains the case,” Commander Chew said.
“There is anecdotal evidence from our service partners that there have been increases in requests for help and information relating to assaults and sexual assaults in recent weeks. These have not yet translated to increases in reports to police.
“I encourage any victim of any crime to let police know about it. They can call us or visit a police station, and in the case of historic sexual assault, there’s the option to report it online.
“Police take all reports of crime seriously, and we will do everything we can to empower the victims of crime. Ensuring their welfare is our priority, and victims can choose to start or stop the process at any point in the investigation.”
While ACT Policing urges any victims of crime to report it as soon as possible, in addition to doing so in person at any police station in Canberra, there are other ways to report crime to ACT Policing.
To report a crime that is not life-threatening or an emergency, call Police Assistance on 131 444.
Anyone with information about illegal or suspicious activity, which may help solve a crime and may be useful to police, should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at CrimeStoppers.
Anyone wishing to report a historic sexual assault (one which occurred more than six months ago) can do so through ACT Policing.