Robbery, assault, hold-ups, all down

By KUE DAVIS

COFFS Harbour is officially a safer place to be, with the latest statistics showing a major decline in assaults and robberies in the region.

The latest statistics released from the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics show that the Mid North Coast has had a 13 per cent drop in assaults, and a 36 per cent drop in robberies not involving a firearm.

Coffs/Clarence crime manager, Cameron Lindsay, said the results are nothing short of sensational.

"We've had dramatic reductions in the Coffs/Clarence command in all crime categories," he said.

He said the command has experienced an exceptionally remarkable decrease in assaults within licensed premises. "As a result of a pilot program being run by police and licensing inspectors from the Liquor and Gaming Department, we have experienced a 41 per cent decline in assaults within licensed hotels in the Coffs Harbour command.

"It really is very pleasing it acknowledges the good work that police are undertaking in the command."

Inspector Lindsay also said alcohol-related crimes such as assaults, anti-social behaviour and drink driving are always a concern for police, but with the reduction came more resources to police other crimes.

"When we have dramatic decreases like this, it allows us to put those extra resources into other areas."

Nambucca maintained their rate of robbery without a firearm throughout 2005 and 2006, and also saw a decline in assault from 938.4 per 100,000 people to 837.1.

However, further north, robberies increased in the Clarence Valley, from 10.7 per 100,000 to 16.0.

Unlicensed and drink drivers in parts of south-east Queensland risk having their cars confiscated under new laws which come into force today.

The new laws give police the powers to confiscate the vehicles of drivers who repeatedly break the law by drink driving, driving while unlicensed, unregistered or disqualified.



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