Tweed's crime rates on the wane
By SAMANTHA HEALY TWEED police are winning the war on property crime, recording some of the region's lowest crime rates in years. Break-and-enter offences, robbery and motor vehicle thefts have dropped significantly over the past four months. According to Tweed/Byron Local Area Command (LAC) Supt Michael Kenny, the drop in crime rates is in part due to the ongoing hard work of his%officers, but also the increasing support being shown by the community. "I am unaware of any statistics on%record that compare to the current ones," Supt Kenny said. "The figures for robbery are the lowest on record and for the month of%August we had no reported instances of robbery at all, within the Tweed/%Byron Local Area Command. "Stealings have fallen over the past four months from 283 during April to 153 in August, the lowest monthly%figure in 10 years." Break-and-enter offences fell to 64 during August, the lowest total in four years. Supt Kenny said the lower break-and-enter figures has only been eclipsed once by better results during the last 10 years. "The lowest figures in 10 years were the statistics for stolen vehicles which fell to 17 during August," Supt Kenny said. But despite the surprising win for local police, Supt Kenny said it was%important the community remained vigilant as the summer months%approached. "I am mindful that although these results reflect well on the community and their police, the warmer months are approaching and inevitably with the influx of many visitors crime statistics will rise," Supt Kenny said. "I urge everyone to remain vigilant and work with local police to curb antisocial and criminal behaviour. "It is vitally important that police are made aware of crimes and criminal activity as soon as they are detected to allow a prompt response." But according to the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), incidents of domestic violence and malicious damage continue to rise in the Tweed/Byron LAC. "Malicious damage has been on a gradual rise since 2005, but we've%actually seen a decrease over the past five months," Insp Kenny said. "From my point of view assaults have been stable, but we do see an increase in reported domestic violence incidents. "But we don't necessarily consider that rise a bad thing. It means people are coming forward and reporting it. But from 2002 to 2006, the Tweed continues to improve its Local Government Area ranking in terms of some crimes. Each year between 2002 and 2006, the Tweed LGA was given a ranking out of 143 LGA. The higher the ranking the better. A ranking is given for assault (not domestic violence), assault (domestic violence-related), sexual offences, robbery, break and enter (dwelling), break and enter (non-dwelling), motor vehicle theft, steal from motor vehicle, steal from retail store, steal from dwelling, steal from person, fraud and malicious damage. In 2006, the Tweed was ranked 99th for assault (not domestic violence), 87th for assault (domestic violence-related), 89th for sexual offences, 85th for robbery, 104th for break-and-enter (dwelling), 72nd for break-and-enter (non-dwelling), 48th for motor vehicle theft, 54th for steal from motor vehicle, 26th for steal from retail store, 72nd for steal from dwelling, 47th for steal from person, 66th for fraud and 110th for malicious damage. In 2006, of the 143 LGAs, the Tweed showed a general decline in the number of reported incidents of robbery, break and enters (dwelling), stealing from motor vehicles and fraud. Superintendent Kenny said that smarter policing, the use of new technology and proactive taskings for officers, all assisted with the results but the support of the community was paramount.