Mackay Police District Acting Detective Inspector Mick Searle explaining the reason behind the change in crime stats for the Mackay District. Picture: Heidi Petith
Mackay Police District Acting Detective Inspector Mick Searle explaining the reason behind the change in crime stats for the Mackay District. Picture: Heidi Petith

Spike in DVO breaches, illegal drugs and weapons

Police have attributed a spike in domestic violence to proactive policing during the coronavirus lockdown.

Mackay received a mixed report card for crime in April but most notably there was a spike in domestic violence order breaches.

There were 157 cases of DVO breaches in April, a 40 per cent increase on the 112 cases in March.

Mackay District Detective Acting Inspector Mick Searle said the breaches were at a 12-month-high but there was no marked increase in domestic-violence related violence or assaults.

"What we're finding from our proactive work in domestic violence is the most commonly breached condition at the moment is one where people are not supposed to be residing together," Det Insp Searle said.

He said coronavirus confinement may have been drawing people together.

"That's certainly a concern for us," he said.

"If people are named on a domestic violence protection order and they're not supposed to be together, there's a reason for that.

"History has shown that those relationships are dangerous to the victims of the domestic violence, and we really need people to report that - if they're being in some way swayed into accepting someone being at their residence … we need to know that, we need to stamp this down".

Also the latest crime statistics show a rise in drug-related offences, including illegal weapons possession, with the Mackay CBD as well as the suburbs of East Mackay, South Mackay and Andergrove showing as particular hot spots.

Det Insp Searle said the increased offences were in part due to the more than 50 targeted search warrants conducted over the past month.

"Drug dealers like to find themselves occupied with knives and guns and things like that, so quite a few of those warrants have turned up firearms which is a positive as we don't want them out in the community," he said.

Det Insp Searle said many Mackay drug dealers were 30-40 year old unemployed males who had taken on dealing as their primary employment.

On the flip side, crimes relating to traffic, assault, break-and-enters and theft had all declined during April.

Det Insp Searle said reduced theft was attributed to more people being at home during coronavirus confinement as was the drop in assaults which, for Mackay, were previously centred around parties and social gatherings.

Travel restrictions were also helping police to target offenders active at night, he said.



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