Ballarat's crime rate has risen over the past year, according to new statistics from the Crime Statistics Agency (CSA).
For the year ending in June 2020, Ballarat's overall offence rate increased from 9937 per 100,00 people in 2019 to 9986 in 2020, a rise of 2.3 per cent.
Ballarat's crime rate remains higher than other regional centres such as Greater Geelong (8628) and Greater Bendigo (9347).
One of the most shocking increases came from family violence incidents, which rose by 10.9 per cent over the past 12 months.
Until the last 12 months, Ballarat's family violence rate had been steadily falling.
The latest figures include the months of April, June and July this year, where COVID-19 forced more people to remain at home.
Of the victims, 1471 family members affected by family violence were women, while 487 were men. The most common age range for both victims and offenders came between those aged 25-34.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Regional Operations Rick Nugent said in a press conference on Thursday morning increases in family violence were a concern for police across the state during the COVID-19 lockdown.
"We were concerned with some of these restrictions that there would be increased violence within the home," he said.
"Operation Ribbon was established to check in with high risk cases across the state.
"We were able to charge a significant number of people breaching intervention orders. We saw More first time reporting. We saw increased incidents involving children and parents, sometimes with children as victims and sometimes as perpetrators.
"It is a constant focus of Victoria police and other agencies to hold perpetrators responsible."
Offences occurred most commonly in Ballarat Central (2726 offences), followed by Wendouree (1460), Sebastopol (1123), Delecombe (686) and Ballarat East (679).
Ballarat's most common offences involved theft from motor vehicles, which increased by nearly 200 offences in the past 12 months (1,418 to 1,611).
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