Latest police statistics say Coffs Harbour crime in decline
CRIME statistics released for Coffs Harbour reveal indecent assaults increased by 30% this year while state-wide trends remained stable.
There were 143 charges laid in the 12 months to September, up from 84 in 2013.
Police have welcomed a reduction or stable rates of all 17 major crime categories over the past 24 months across NSW.
Coffs Harbour bucked the trend on several fronts in the year to September, including an increase from no murder charges in 2013 to one in 2014.
A 23-year-old man was charged with the rape and murder of his two-year-old stepdaughter while her mother was out of the Coffs Harbour house in April.
The girl died in hospital the following day.
The city also experienced a 10% increase in domestic assaults this year, a 16% spike in break-and-enters of homes and a 20% rise in fraud charges.
But it was not all bad news, with the majority of major crime categories declining.
Car break-ins fell by 30% and malicious damage to property charges, which includes vandalism and graffiti, dropped 15%.
Coffs-Clarence Local Area Commander Mark Holahan attributed a 24% decrease in non-domestic assaults to a concerted crackdown on drunken violence.
"The figures overall are very pleasing for the Coffs Harbour area," he said.
"The significant reduction in alcohol-related assaults is of note.
"We have done a lot of work in that area.
"We've also seen good increases in the number of people we search and the detections we make for drugs.
"For us, it's not a matter of being complacent and saying what a good job we've done - we need to build on that good work and continue to get those reductions."
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the overall figures were a good result for the state, but acknowledged the rise of methamphetamine remained a major problem.
State-wide charges for amphetamine possession increased 25.9% over the two years to 2014, while marijuana possession spiked by 12.7%.
"We have quite deliberately set out to disrupt the availability of these drugs in the community," Commissioner Scipione said.
"History tells us the damage these drugs can do to young people and if we save one life, it's worth it."
Coffs Harbour Local Government Area
(Crime numbers - year to September 2014)
Murder - 1 (+1)
Domestic assault - 488 (+45)
Assault - 386 (-93)
Sexual assault - 76 (+12)
Indecent assault - 143 (+59)
Robbery without weapon - 14 (-4)
Robbery with firearm - 2 (-2)
Robbery with a weapon (not gun) - 8 (-6)
Break and enter home - 410 (+58)
Break and enter (not dwelling) - 170 (-25)
Motor vehicle theft - 152 (-3)
Steal from motor vehicle - 449 (-134)
Steal from shop - 139 (-26)
Steal from dwelling - 256 (-3)
Steal from person - 50 (-8)
Fraud - 308 (+52)
Malicious damage to property - 840 (-126)