Crime stats show police crack-down on shoplifters
PRO-ACTIVE policing has been credited for a massive 40.2% increase in shoplifting charges within the Coffs-Clarence Local Area Command over a two-year period.
The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has released its annual crime report, revealing break-and-enters on the region's homes were up 22% over the same period.
Both increases were their respective crime categories' biggest of any region in New South Wales.
The statewide story was one of law enforcement success, with 16 of NSW Police's 17 "major" crime categories either falling or remaining stable.
Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said shoplifting bucked the downward trend - as did drug charges, which fell outside the "major" crime categories.
Amphetamine possession was up 30.6% alongside a 35.9% rise in cocaine charges.
"We see time and time again the irreversible damage drugs have on individuals, their families and the wider community," Mr Scipione said.
"We must therefore stay strong in our resolve to keep the pressure on those who choose to perpetuate this illegal trade."
Beyond the drug world, the situation in the Coffs-Clarence region was often worse than the state as a whole.
There were 624 break-and-enters on homes in 2014. Last year, that figure rose 22% to 761. Assaults were up 4% with 743 cases in 2015.
However, domestic, sexual and indecent assault rates all fell marginally.
Police Minister Troy Grant said the state's biggest crime battle was against drugs.
"The BOCSAR report highlights the potential for drugs to cause further destruction across NSW as it doesn't discriminate by postcode - increases in possession are reported in regional and metropolitan communities," Mr Grant said. -ARM NEWSDESK
COUNTING CRIME: COFFS-CLARENCE LAC
- Murder - 1 case (-1 on previous year)
- Domestic assault - 695 (-27)
- Assault - 743 (+29)
- Sexual assault - 146 (-7)
- Indecent assault - 180 (-34)
- Unarmed robbery - 9 (-11)
- Robbery with a firearm - 2 (-1)
- Robbery with a non-firearm weapon - 22 (+9)
- Break and enter home - 761 (+137)
- Break and enter business - 369 (-30)
- Motor vehicle theft - 273 (-14)
- Steal from motor vehicle - 828 (+10)
- Theft from a shop - 408 (+117)
- Theft from a home - 563 (+17)
- Theft from a person - 79 (+22)
- Fraud - 482 (+35)
- Malicious property damage - 1494 (-97)