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Crime stats now a real concern

NEWS that shoplifting of food and alcohol is on the rise as a result of the economic downturn is a real worry to everyone on the Coffs Coast.

Latest government figures for December 2008 show a decrease in 15 of the 17 major crime categories.

But a 7.8 per cent increase in theft from a shop and a 15.7 per cent increase in fraud, the latter attributed to a rise in petrol theft at the end of last year.

NSW Police have yet to blame the figures on tough financial times, but many believe the two are linked.

And it is telling that items being shoplifted had shifted from luxuries like sunglasses and jewellery to real necessities like food.

If economic conditions deteriorate further, evidence from overseas suggests increases in property crime will continue.

And that affects us all.

While there has been a decrease in robbery with a firearm, robbery with a weapon other than a firearm, and motor vehicle theft, minor crime and drug use has surged.

Cocaine-use-related arrests have soared by 58.6 per cent since 2007.




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