CRIME in the city’s major streets has plunged over the past five years as police continue to deploy more resources into the busy area.
Crime statistics data collected between April 2011 and March 2016 from 15 major streets shows the number of recorded incidences showed a 23 per cent overall decrease between these dates.
Ballarat City Council mayor Des Hudson said major city projects – including the creation of a liquor accord, formation of taxi ranks and installation of CCTV cameras in crime hot spots had contributed to the crime drop.
“There have also been upgrades to lighting up some of those locations and the taxi ranks which helps get some people, who otherwise may linger, out of our city at the end of the night,” Cr Hudson said.
“We are also working to change that ‘drink to get drunk’ mentality.”
The statistics analysed the number of offences in the city’s main streets.
Data was provided for Armstrong Street, Creswick Road, Curtis Street, Dana Street, Doveton Street, Drummond Street, Gillies Street, Grenville Street, Lydiard Street, Little Bridge Street, Mair Street, Norman Street, Peel Street, Skipton Street and Sturt Street.
Lydiard Street recorded the highest number of offences in 2015-16 with 256 offences recorded. That figure was well down from the 2011-12 high of 393.
In Lydiard Street the majority of offences recorded this year were theft and property offences.
Public and security offences had seen the biggest drop, plummeting from a 2011-12 high of 136 down to 54.
Cr Hudson said 88 CCTV cameras currently operate in the Ballarat CBD.
Fifty-six of those are in the Bridge Mall and a further 32 are located in the late night entertainment precinct which spans Mair and Lydiard streets.
Cr Hudson said all agencies were working together to promote Ballarat as a safe city that could be enjoyed by all with a particular focus on cleaning up the notorious Little Bridge Street area.
The total number of offences in Little Bridge Street spiked to a high of 119 in 2013-14, that figure has since plunged to 37, with the majority property and deception offences.
“We are changing the infrastructure so spaces, like Little Bridge Street, no longer become a congregation point for anti-social behaviour,” Cr Hudson said.
While crime in the CBD has dropped it sprawled into the outer suburbs with police dealing with a spike of young recidivist youth offences.
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