COVID freedoms leads to crime rise in Hobsons Bay

Recorded criminal offences in Maribyrnong dropped by 0.3 per cent and increased by 0.7 per cent in Hobsons Bay, according to new Crime Statistics Agency data.

By Matthew Sims

Increased movement due to the community re-emerging from COVID lockdowns has led to an slight increase in criminal offences recorded across Hobsons Bay in the year to March, according to Hobsons Bay local area commander Inspector Tim O’Connor.

The Crime Statistics Agency data showed there were 5884 recorded offences during the March 2021 to March 2022 period in Hobsons Bay, which was a 0.7 per cent increase compared to the March 2020 to March 2021 period.

Criminal offences in Newport jumped by 14.2 per cent in the year to March, with assault and related offences increasing by 22.7 per cent.

The data showed criminal offences in Williamstown jumped by 9.8 per cent.

However, there were a number of reductions in criminal offences, including drug use offences dropping by 56.9 per cent in Altona.

Insp O’Connor said police would continue to work with the community to deter and disrupt offending.

“As the community comes out from the pandemic, we anticipated some increases in areas as a result of increased movement in the community,” he said.

“We encourage everyone to do their part in making sure our community remains safe, that means reporting anything suspicious and making it difficult for criminals by ensuring your valuable items are secure, and locking doors and windows of your cars and home.”

In Maribyrnong, the data reflected a 0.3 per cent reduction in recorded criminal offences, with 7025 offences recorded in the year up to March.

Footscray’s data showed an 11 per cent increase in the number of assault and related offences recorded.

In Maidstone, there was a 30.8 per cent reduction in drug use offences, while theft offences recorded increased by 6.7 per cent to 463 offences.

Maribyrnong local area commander Acting Inspector Matt Trask said there were steady decreases in robbery and deception offences.

“It’s incredibly positive to see a decrease in overall crime across Maribyrnong in the last 12 months,” he said.