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Cop this: Tweed crime falls

Tweed crime rates are dropping, according to police. Graphic: Leanne Holvast
Tweed crime rates are dropping, according to police. Graphic: Leanne Holvast

TWEED homes are safer than they have been in years, with official crime statistics showing massive falls in the number of property offences.

The figures, released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics, show break and enter and malicious damage offences down more than 20%.

And violent crime is also decreasing, with the number of assaults falling over the last five years despite a slight increase last year.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest hailed the figures and said residents had a right to feel safe.

"We have had an increase in police numbers," he said.

"There has been an attempt for more of a police presence and the good work of Gordon Levenson (Tweed Valley Neighbourhood Watch) and the Eyewatch program that uses Facebook.

"People are being more vigilant."

Property crime has been reduced across the Tweed in the past 12 months while reported crimes remained stable in other parts of the far North Coast.

According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics, in the Richmond-Tweed region assaults and robberies were up slightly from 2010 to 2011.

However, over the past five years, violent offences dropped 4.2% and property offences fell 2.1%.

The real success was in the Tweed with significant falls in crime in 24 months.

Some of the stand-out results were in property offences with break and enters down 21.5%, theft from motor vehicles down 17.4% and malicious damage to property down 20.9%.

Tweed Police Detective Acting Inspector Saul Wiseman said police paid close attention to statistics to create strategies as trends developed.

"We have seen crime down across the board in Tweed Heads," Acting Insp Wiseman said.

"We are targeting offenders of violent crime, break and enters and stealing."

Acting Insp Wiseman said better communication with the public and a focused policing strategy was paying off.

"We look at where crime is occurring and then develop strategies to counter that activity," he said.

Programs such as the Dob in a Dealer, the Tweed police's Facebook page and the Neighbourhood Watch programs played a part.

He said malicious damage to property was a good example of how the strategy worked.

"It's about working out why that is happening in the area. It's also about the public reporting the crime."

Acting Insp Wiseman said police used a Facebook page to help combat graffiti, such as how to identify tags.

 

BY NUMBERS

Major crimes recorded in Tweed in 2011 compared with 2010:

Assault: 733 (up 12)

Robbery: 34 (up 2)

Break and enter: 669 (down 162)

Stealing: 1081 (up 211)

Malicious damage to property: 797 (down 211)

Topics:  crime, geoff provest, nsw bureau of crime statistics



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