6 domestic assaults each week

DOMESTIC violence offences reported in Albury are averaging about six a week.

Annual crime data released yesterday shows 311 domestic-related assaults were reported to police in the Albury area from April last year to March this year.

That’s up on the 252 offences recorded the previous 12 months, adding up to an increase of 23.4 per cent for the past 24 months.

The upward trend was echoed in the statewide figures for NSW, with a 2.5 per cent increase in domestic violence reporting across NSW.

Detective Acting Inspector Chris Wallace welcomed the figures as proof police were slowly but surely combating family violence.

“The spike is positive for us because it means more people are reporting it,” Acting Insp Wallace said.

“Obviously we don’t condone domestic violence — we would much rather see it stamped out altogether.

“But the more we get told about it the more we can address it.”

Changes to NSW law, which came into force last month, means sergeants and other senior officers may issue on-the-spot orders against perpetrators of family violence.

Acting Insp Wallace said this would mean frontline police would now be able to spend more time on the ground, and hopefully instill more confidence in victims of violence.

“They’ve got to be able to trust us that we’ll be able to protect and offer them appropriate support through community services,” he said.

The figures also reveal ed less property crime.

Reported home break-and-enter cases were down 38.5 per cent; non-residential break-and-enter cases down 52.1 per cent; and motor vehicle thefts down 29.6 per cent.

The data might surprise some, given the recent spate of such crimes and community perception of a higher crime rate, but Acting Insp Wallace said it was down to pro-active policing and awareness.

A number of community safety and home security campaigns in recent years had helped, he said, while police were now patrolling the streets in greater numbers than before.

Crime in other areas of the Murray region, including Greater Hume, Corowa and Urana shires, remained stable.