Trevor Veale

Overall crime down, domestic violence rates remain steady

COFFS Clarence police are reporting lower crime statistics across several crime categories.

Over the past two reporting periods, police say alcohol-related assaults were down 15%, which they credited to strong licensing enforcement that saw about $200,000 in on-the-spot fines issued to those not drinking responsibly.

Assaults were down 12%, as were robberies, with stealing from a person down 30%.

Property-related crimes also fell, with home break-ins down 15% and business break and enter offences down 7%.

Malicious damage to property declined by 17%, stealing from motor vehicles by 13%, and stolen motor vehicles by 14%.

Despite falls across many categories, rates of domestic violence - labelled "an area of concern" by police - remained steady.

Coffs Clarence Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said officers were responding to about 50 domestic assaults a month.

"This remains a significant issue for all communities, and we encourage people to be champions for the protection of families by reporting domestic violence to police," Det Insp Jameson said.

"We've always had strong reporting although, like everything, there is room for improvement.

"The psychological barriers faced by victims, whether they be male, female or children, can make them reluctant to report."

Det Insp Jameson said the command would introduce a new initiative to target repeat domestic violence offenders.

Suspect Targeting Management Plans will allow police to visit known locations of repeat domestic violence offenders.

They will also conduct random visits on locations that offenders are not allowed to be, and visit victims to check whether they have been contacted by offenders.

Warrina Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services manager Charlotte Young said the local refuge had more people accessing its services.

"I think the profile of domestic violence in the media at the moment has definitely had an impact and therefore we are seeing an increase in women reaching out for help," Ms Young said.

"We have seen an increase across all the services we deliver, not only at the refuge, but at the Resource and Information Centre and also with our outreach programs to the Nambucca Valley."



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