Cops keep Coffs-Clarence crime in check

FRAUD, break and enters and non-domestic violence related assaults spiked in the Clarence Valley last year, according to an otherwise positive report card from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

The new statistics released this week offer a snapshot into the number of major crime offences committed from 2015 to 2016.

While several types of major offences, including robbery without a weapon, most stealing offences and indecent assaults went down, there were a few offences which rose.

Interestingly, rises in non-domestic violence assaults, break and enter dwellings, sexual assault and stealing from motor vehicles in the Clarence Valley seemed to correspond with a drop for the same offences in Coffs Harbour, which make up the other half of the command.

Coffs/Clarence crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said that across the Coffs/Clarence command, crime was down by about 20% across the board, and that more recent statistics of the command painted a better picture.

He said break and enters into dwellings for this financial year were so far down 32%, while stealing from motor vehicles was down 30%. Non-domestic violence related assaults were down 18% over the last year.

One area that continues to be of concern in both the Clarence Valley and Coffs Harbour, however, is fraud, which from 2015-16 saw a jump from 172 to 251 reported cases.

Compounding the issue is an increase in paywave, or 'tap'n'go', fraud offences.

"From where we currently stand at the moment fraud is still high, there's no doubt that," Det Insp Jameson said. "It goes back to our old message that if you think it's too good to be true, then it's too good to be true."

The crime manager said overall he was pleased with the strides the command had made, and said the community should feel comfortable with the region's "strong policing approach."

He also thanked the community for providing quality information to assist with investigations.

"That partnership has resulted in an increase of quality information in this command by 15% over three years.

"We've also had an increase of pro-activity by 20%, through intervening known persons before they commit an offence, and targeting the drivers of crime being cannabis and other dangerous drugs.

"So successful has our strategy been in targeting drugs and alcohol that we're seeing wholesale reductions in crime across board including violent crimes."

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