Clarence Stats reveal who’s a crime target
NEW data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) has revealed valuable insights into the Clarence Valley's criminal profile.
The statistics, which are collated from crime reported to and/or detected by police, show a decrease in theft-related crime targeting private citizens but the same can't be said for shops and businesses.
According to the data, stealing from a retail store has steadily increased in the Clarence Valley over the past three years, with 182 reports of shop theft in 2019 compared to 120 reports in 2017.
"Stealing from retail shops has always been a difficult one," Coffs/Clarence Police Duty Officer Inspector Joanne Reid said.
"We're always working with shopping centres and the Chamber of Commerce, but at the end of the day it's about how each shop is set up; where you place your stock, where you place security cameras, having the point of sale close to the exit and so on.
"Our goal is to try and do work at the front end to prevent theft in the first place."
However, Insp. Reid said there were ongoing plainclothes police operations throughout the Clarence Valley to help continue to prevent retail theft.
Insp. Reid said malicious damage continues to be a common occurrence in the region despite a decline in reports.
"Malicious damage seems to be more generalised because it could be something as small as a car being keyed to a smashed mailbox or reckless window smashing," she said.
In 2016, there were 582 reports of malicious damage made to Coffs/Clarence Police. Last year, this dropped to just 441 reports.
Non-domestic violence related assaults have also remained steady over the past three years, with 262 reports last year while domestic violence assaults have decreased according to the data.
Although not as significant a jump in numbers as other crimes, sexual assault and indecent assault continues to slowly climb in the region, with 46 reports of sexual assault and 60 reports of indecent assault in the Clarence Valley in 2019.
Insp. Reid said that she encouraged people to come forward and report sexual assault but understood there was some hesitation within the community.
"Much like domestic violence, we always encourage reporting of sexual and indecent assaults," Insp. Jo Reid said.
"But it's a very sensitive issue and reporting can be extremely hard for a lot of people."
Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1800 65 64 63
Sexual Assault Counselling Australia: 1800 211 028