ACT Policing has issued its online crime statistics for the second quarter of 2012, reflecting a decline in most offence types reported to police, including assaults, sexual assaults, robberies and burglaries, but an increase in motor vehicle thefts when compared with the same period (April to June) last year.
Assaults in the inner south fell by 56 per cent, property damage by 34 per cent, and general (other than motor vehicle) theft by 25 per cent. The inner north experienced declines in every category aside from motor vehicle theft and road collisions with injury.
While all areas of Canberra have shown a general decrease in crime in these quarters from 2011 to 2012, some localised areas have seen spikes in specific crime types.
Tuggeranong for example experienced an increase in vehicle theft from 52 vehicles in the second quarter of 2011, to 94 in the corresponding period this year. Woden’s vehicle thefts also rose from 31 to 51, with burglaries in the inner south rising by 34 per cent. ACT Policing attributes these localised rises to a small number of active offenders on the south side in this quarter.
As has been the case historically, the entertainment and retail precincts in the City area remain a hot spot for offences with assaults increasing from 72 in the second quarter of 2011 to 86 for the same period this year. General theft however (other than motor vehicles) remains stable with 193 reported incidents in the corresponding 2011 quarter and 194 this quarter. All other offence/incident types are stable in number except for burglaries in the city which fell from 22 in the 2011quarter to just eight in this years’ quarter.
Acting Superintendent Chris Meagher said that the latest quarter statistics can reflect seasonal differences such as the reduction in pedestrian traffic and general activity with the onset of cooler weather, but he was encouraged by the direct quarter comparison, in which serious crime types, including offences against people, showed a decline.
“ACT Policing has now honed its intelligence-driven model and the second quarter data shows this approach is working well,” Acting Superintendent Meagher said.
“We recognise the potential for offences and incidents to spike in specific areas, sometimes as a result of an increase in offending activity by a small group of recidivist offenders, and with small sample sizes, percentage increases or decreases can be skewed. Reporting methodology may also affect the consistency of crime statistics, so Canberrans need to understand that statistics are a broad guide to crime rates.”
He said that an example of how the reporting of the CrimeStatistics by offence and incident type can vary is in the road toll, which in the current online data numbers four fatalities for 2012, but the actual number is five tragic deaths.
“The unlisted fifth road death occurred on a rural road far to the south of Canberra, outside the suburbs defined on the ACT Policing website. This data reporting anomaly is one of several identified and will be addressed in future renditions of CrimeStatistics,” Acting Superintendent Meagher said.
The interactive CrimeStatistics were launched earlier this year and provide community members two different methods to analyse crime rates occurring in their neighbourhood — ‘incident rates’ and ‘rates per 1000 population’ (except for suburbs with populations less than 350), and enable a quarter by quarter comparison.
“ACT Policing only recently introduced the interactive CrimeStatistics, and we are constantly refining and making improvements to the statistics. We welcome any recommendations or suggestions which could improve the user’s experience,” Acting Superintendent Meagher said.
The interactive CrimeStatistics can be found at police.act.gov.au.
For police attendance, contact ACT Policing on 131 444. To report a crime, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.