Drug offences soar in Ballarat

LATEST police statistics show a huge jump in the number of drug related offences committed and a significant drop in the number of assaults occurring in Ballarat. 

The latest figures from Victoria Police show there was a 4.1 per cent increase in the overall number of offences committed last year compared to 2012. 

A 73.6 per cent rise in drug related offences equates to an extra 178 incidents committed last year with the total number being 420. 

The figures also showed a 17 per cent drop in the number of assaults  in 2013. 

This equates to 232 fewer assaults for the year with a total 1130 incidents recorded. 

Specifically there was a 15 per cent drop in family violence offences. 

However, Inspector Bruce Thomas has reiterated the message that family violence is unacceptable and still needs to be seen as unacceptable by the community. 

“It shows the message is starting to get through,” Inspector Thomas said. 

“It is improving; Victoria Police over the past decade have put a lot of resources into dealing with it.”

Inspector Thomas said Ballarat had a special division with seven officers working on family violence specifically. 

This includes follow up visits to victims by the police shortly after any incident occurs. 

This rise in drug related offences was still focused around ice, according to Inspector Thomas. 

“Ice is our issue, at the moment we are picking up a lot more people with it,” he said. 

“It is a police problem, it is a health problem and it is a community problem. 

“If people are concerned about loved ones and problems they may have with the drug they should get them some help.” 

Inspector Thomas commended licensed venues in the CBD for combating violence in the city. 

“We run major operations every month in Ballarat to curb violence,” he said. 

“We want Ballarat to be safe.”

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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