Sexual assault tops crime rise in Clarence

SEXUAL assault, domestic violence and shoplifting are on the rise in the Coffs-Clarence region while every other major crime category has fallen or remained relatively stable.

Latest Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research figures reveal a 22.1% increase in sexual assault charges and a 17.2% increase in shoplifting over the 12 months to March.

Police laid 669 charges for domestic violence over the same period - a 9.5% increase on the preceding 12 months.

The most notable decreases were to robbery with a firearm (down 25%), home break-ins (down 22.3%) and armed robbery with a weapon other than a gun (down 20%).

Across the state, stealing from a dwelling was the only one of the 17 major category offences to increase in the past year with a 2.5% rise.

BOCSAR director Don Weatherburn said the drop in major crimes masked a significant increase in drug abuse, with three out of every 20 Australian adults regularly using meth.

"The continued growth in arrests for use and possession of amphetamines is a matter of concern," he said.

"Since January 2010, the number of arrests for use and or possession of amphetamines has risen by more than 200%."

COFFS-CLARENCE MAJOR CRIMES

MURDER

12 months to March 2014 - 3; 12 months to March 2015 - 2

Percentage change: -33.3%

DOMESTIC ASSAULT

12 months to March 2014 - 669; 12 months to March 2015 - 733

Percentage change: +9.5%

NON-DOMESTIC ASSAULT

12 months to March 2014 - 769; 12 months to March 2015 - 754

Percentage change: -1.9%

SEXUAL ASSAULT

12 months to March 2014 - 122; 12 months to March 2015 - 149

Percentage change: +22.1%

INDECENT ASSAULT

12 months to March 2014 - 201; 12 months to March 2015 - 156

Percentage change: -22.3%

ROBBERY WITHOUT A WEAPON

12 months to March 2014 - 22; 12 months to March 2015 - 18

Percentage change: -18.1%

ROBBERY WITH A FIREARM

12 months to March 2014 - 4; 12 months to March 2015 - 3

Percentage change: -25%

ARMED ROBBERY WITHOUT A FIREARM

12 months to March 2014 - 15; 12 months to March 2015 - 12

Percentage change: -20%

BREAK AND ENTER DWELLING

12 months to March 2014 - 747; 12 months to March 2015 - 580

Percentage change: -22.3%

BREAK AND ENTER NON-DWELLING

12 months to March 2014 - 378; 12 months to March 2015 - 397

Percentage change: +5%

MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT

12 months to March 2014 - 299; 12 months to March 2015 - 306

Percentage change: +2.3%

STEAL FROM MOTOR VEHICLE

12 months to March 2014 - 936; 12 months to March 2015 - 778

Percentage change: -16.9%

SHOPLIFTING

12 months to March 2014 - 267; 12 months to March 2015 - 313

Percentage change: +17.2%

STEAL FROM DWELLING

12 months to March 2014 - 604; 12 months to March 2015 - 516

Percentage change: -14.5%

STEAL FROM PERSON

12 months to March 2014 - 89; 12 months to March 2015 - 56

Percentage change: -37%

FRAUD

12 months to March 2014 - 526; 12 months to March 2015 - 431

Percentage change: -18%

MALICIOUS PROPERTY DAMAGE

12 months to March 2014 - 1587; 12 months to March 2015 - 1582

Percentage change: -0.3%



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