Huge drop in robbery rate

BUNDABERG is now a safer place to live compared with 12 months ago, judging by a 3% drop in the overall crime rate in the Wide Bay Burnett policing district.

The crime drop was revealed in the Queensland Police Service Annual Statistical Review released yesterday and provides a snapshot of crime rates in the district for the 2014-2015 financial year compared with 2013-2014.

The report shows the number of robberies recorded in the region fell almost 45%.

The number of armed robberies halved from 42 in 2013-2014 to 21 in 2014-2015.

The Wide Bay Police District covers Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Gympie.

Queensland Police Wide Bay Burnett Acting Superintendent Stephen Donnelly said the drop was the result of a joint effort between police and the community.

He cited the case of two store robberies which were solved thanks to alert staff.

said.

"We are only as effective as the community we serve," he said.

Police had strategies in place to combat crimes such as robberies and assaults.

He said the 24% drop in the number of cars stolen was most likely due to a strong education program and the community becoming more vigilant.

"It's as small as locking your car and moving your keys out of plain sight," he said.

The rate of break-ins across the district fell 8%, unlawful entry into homes fell 15% while unlawful entry into shops fell by 14%.

"A lot of break-ins are opportunistic and are preventable," Supt Donnelly said.

"It is encouraging to see a steady decrease in these offences and demonstrates the community is actively participating in crime prevention."

Overall the number of offences against the person fell by 14%, offences against property fell by 4% and other offences dropped by 1%.

Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson welcomed the statistics.

"What the data shows is that the Wide Bay and Burnett District is a safer place to live, work and visit than it was this time last year - and that is a great thing," Ms Donaldson said.

"Across the district we have seen a steady decrease in the overall crime rate, with a drop of over 3%."

Ms Donaldson said positive partnerships between police and the community were contributing to lower property crime rates across the District.

"We know that when the police and the community work together, we can achieve great things - and that's what we're seeing across the Wide Bay and Burnett," she said.



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