Frankston crime jumps 16%

CRIME in the Frankston police region increased in all categories except one last year.

The 2012 statistics released last week showed the total number of crimes in the region increased by 16.3 per cent.

In total, 'crimes against the person' — which includes rape, sex offences, robbery, assault and abduction — rose 36.1 per cent and drug offences leapt 58.4 per cent.

Figures represent only those offences reported to police and the ones recorded.

All offences, except theft from motor vehicles (down 0.5 per cent), were up, including residential burglary and assault.

Last year there were 1623 reported assaults, including family violence, which represents a 37.2 per cent increase since 2011 — higher than the state average of 14 per cent.

Despite this, Frankston's Inspector Jeff Millar said police were making an impact on the level of violence in the community.

"A very large majority of the assaults that occur are between people who know each other. Violence is not an acceptable method to resolve a difference or settle an argument and police are continuing to focus on this area."

Since protective services officers were introduced at Frankston railway station, assaults in the area had "all but disappeared".

More foot patrols in the Young Street area at times when violence was most likely to occur had dramatically lowered the number of incidents, he said.

The arrest of a group of youths who were regularly stealing cars and another group who were targeting unlocked homes had also helped to stem the number of reported stolen vehicles and burglaries.

Inspector Millar said the 58.4 per cent jump in drug-related offences showed good policing.

"Our focus is to continue to identify those responsible for manufacturing illicit drugs. We are confident that strategies we have in place to reduce crime are working."

Road policing statistics were also good, showing the number of fatalities and injuries had dropped.

Cranbourne MP Jude Perera said the increases were a result of the state government cutting $65 million from the police budget and sacking 350 unsworn officers and 480 Department of Justice staff.

"This takes police off the beat and is having a significant impact on tackling crime," he said.

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