Dubbed ‘Crime City’, Wangaratta might be quickly losing its claim to unwanted fame, recording a 7.6 per cent decrease in offences.
The total number of offences recorded dropped in all North East municipalities bar Alpine shire, where it rose from 281 in the period ending March 2017 to 320 offences in the same period until March 2018.
Data released by the Crime Statistics Agency revealed total offences decreased in Wangaratta from 1874 to 1804; Wodonga, 2535 to 2381; Towong, 174 to 172; Indigo, 354 to 341.
Despite this, arson rose in Wangaratta, from 14 to 22, as did property damage, 228 to 233, while instances of theft, burglary or break and enter lessened.
Homicide increased in both Wodonga and the Alpine shire, from zero to two.
In Wodonga drug dealing offences increased from 17 to 28; but assault, arson, theft and burglaries all decreased.
Reports of sexual assault jumped in Indigo, from 16 to 26, as did arson offences, from nine to 18.
Arson, stalking offences and assault all decreased in Towong.
Sexual assault data in both NSW and Victoria is based on when an offence is reported, not committed.
Northern Victorian member Jaclyn Symes said the data showed crime in Wodonga had decreased 1.3 per cent.
“Members are working hard to target issues including burglaries and theft, which we can see reflected in these latest statistics,” he said.
Across the Border, motor vehicle theft increased in Albury, Federation and Greater Hume Shire municipalities, along with instances of people stealing from vehicles.
Data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research revealed 143 vehicles were stolen from Albury City in the 12 months before March 2018, compared to 123 in the same period for 2017, while incidents of people stealing from vehicles rose from 580 to 621.
In Federation, 14 vehicles were stolen, up from 11 with 46 incidents of thefts from vehicles, up from 31.
In Greater Hume Shire there were 18 motor vehicle thefts, up from 12, and 32 instances of stealing from a vehicle, up from 29.
Murder increased in Albury, from zero to two, Federation, from zero to one.
Reports of sexual assaults dropped in Albury, 54 to 52, Federation, nine to six, and Greater Hume Shire, 12 to eight, while domestic violence related assaults decreased in Albury and Federation.
Albury member Greg Aplin said the Murray River Police District did “exceptional” work, with most crime categories within his electorate remaining stable.
“I would like to thank the community for doing their bit by reporting crime,” Mr Aplin said.
While you’re with us, did you know that you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each day at 6am from The Border Mail? To make sure you’re up to date with all the Border and North East news, visit our homepage and sign up.