Statistics show Wodonga's crime rate is down, but not drug use

DRUGS: Use on the rise.

DRUGS: Use on the rise.

A drop in crime occurred across Wodonga throughout 2016 in most areas – except drug use.

Figures released by the Crime Statistics Agency on Thursday revealed trafficking offences had dropped 18.2 per cent between 2015 and 2016, but drug use had still soared 54.1 per cent from 109 to 168 charges laid by police – the highest number in five years.

The overall crime rate dropped by 7.6 per cent, bucking the Victorian average, which was up by 10.2 per cent.

Wangaratta’s figures went in the opposite direction – its 8.8 per cent rise in crime was driven by more assaults, sexual offences and weapons charges.

The statistics also showed a police crackdown on deception crime. There were 144 people charged across Wangaratta in 2016, up from 74 charges the year before.

Deception in Wodonga was also up, but the city did not have the same jump in thefts as the rest of the state.

Crime Statistics Agency chief statistician Fiona Dowsley said Victoria’s property and deception offences increased in the past 12 months, mostly due to increases in thefts. 

“More than one third of all recorded offences in Victoria are theft-related,” she said. 

More than one third of all offences are theft-related. - Statistician Fiona Dowsley

“The increase in thefts are driven by increases in motor vehicle theft and thefts from motor vehicles, with these offences making up nearly half of all theft offences.”

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