Drug arrests up but crime rate down

Inspector Bruce Kitchen said a drop in Colac and district's crime rate was due partly to a police crackdown on drugs.

COLAC and district’s overall crime rate has fallen despite an increase in drug arrests.

Surf Coast Police Service Area, which covers Colac Otway and Surf Coast shires, has recorded a 16.6-per-cent reduction in overall crime during the past 12 months compared with the previous year.

Drug offences increased by 60.6 per cent in Victoria Police’s statistics, which recorded crime in the region from April last year to March this year.

Surf Coast Police Service Area Inspector Bruce Kitchen said the increase was partly due to a police crackdown on drugs in the district.

“During the last 12 months we have conducted many covert operations regarding drug offences in the PSA, which has increased our offences of this category,” Insp Kitchen said.

“This initiative has also ensured a decrease in other crime categories such as residential burglary and theft of and from motor cars,” he said.

Mr Kitchen said his main concern was burglary from businesses, which was up 7.4 per cent.

“This relates mainly to commercial premises in the central business district of towns within the PSA,” he said.

“We have also experienced a small increase in tractor thefts so I would like to encourage the community to ensure your equipment is secured to prevent this type of theft.”

Mr Kitchen said highway patrol was a focus for Colac and district police.

“Serious collisions have continued to trend down, however off-road motorcycle accidents are still an issue,” he said.

“During the coming months the community will see increased police presence on our roads to ensure road safety over the winter months.”

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