More crooks have been resisting arrest and hindering police in Ballarat as crime shapes up to be a pivotal issue in next year’s state election.
Crime Statistics Agency numbers revealed there were 286 resist or hinder offences recorded in the 12 months to March in the city, up 71 cases on the year before.
Hindering police includes when someone gets in the way of officers making an arrest or gives a contact a heads-up about police movements.
Resisting arrest is where offenders try to bolt when police have made it clear they are under arrest.
Back in 2013-14, the offence was recorded only 55 times in Ballarat.
The revelation comes as the powerful police union indicated its support for proposed two-year jail sentences for those who ram police cars following a spate of rammings in Ballarat.
There have been 117 police rams this financial year across Victoria, including one in Ballarat where a Sergeant was hospitalised earlier this month.
Police Association of Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt, who used to be based in Trentham, welcomed the Victorian Opposition’s announcement it would introduce a private members’ bill in parliament to target police rammings this week.
“It’s nothing short of a miracle that no police officer has yet been seriously injured or killed on the 221 occasions where a police vehicle has been rammed in the past two years,” he said.
“But it’s only a matter of time before one of our members becomes a statistic unless something is done about this now.”
A Sebastopol grandfather’s car was stolen and used to ram a police divvy-van on May 24 along Larter Street.