BALLARAT'S crime rate has fallen for the third successive year, bucking a trend of other regional areas in Victoria which have seen steady rises in their figures.
While crime per 100,000 population has jumped in cities such as Bendigo and Warrnambool in the 12 months to June 30 this year, Ballarat has continued its downward trend according to statistics to released on Thursday by Victoria's Crime Statistics Agency.
In fact, Ballarat, Geelong and Wodonga were the only regional centres to record a reduced crime rate in the period, with Ballarat's crime rate per 100,000 almost neck-and-neck with Bendigo.
Wodonga and Geelong have consistently retained the lowest crime rate in recent years, but in raw numbers, Geelong with its much higher population, has seen double Ballarat's crime figures.
While statistics paint a strong picture, there are a few issues Ballarat police still need to deal with.
Firstly theft, which takes in everything from theft from and of cars as well as shop stealing has shown a slight rise with 3751 recorded offences, up from 3730 for the previous 12 months.
The other issue that is disappointing police is justice procedure breaches, such as failure to comply with court orders, which while showing a slight decline, remains the second highest offence recorded. Ballarat Superintendent Jenny Wilson said the focus for police was around vehicle crime.
"It's our most significant issues and when I say vehicle crime, it comes in as someone may steal a car, a wallet, fill the car up with petrol using the credit card, then police may detect driving offences and of course then there is the continual trend around burning the car, all those crime figures go up, so circumstances contribute to that," she said.
Superintendent Wilson hinted that with new reporting mechanisms in place making it for the public to report crime, the next few months could be challenging for police.
She asked the public the remain vigilant and to report all crime.
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