A PRO-prosecution stance has led to a staggering increase in the number of harassment offences recorded in the past 12 months, police say.
Victoria Police's annual crime data, released last week, showed that crime rose by almost 10 per cent in Knox, with significant increases in harassment, aggravated burglary, deception and weapons and explosives crimes.
The figures make for alarming reading on first glance, with a 116.4 per cent jump in harassment offences between July 2011 to June 2012, with 78 more offences recorded than for the same period last year.
But Inspector Terry Kayne of Knox police said harassment offences included breach of intervention orders, particularly in family violence cases.
"These statistics probably show that police are doing their jobs," he said, adding that family violence was an extremely high priority for Victoria Police.
"We're being very proactive in our approach. We've got operations to reduce recidivism of these offences, and we're making referrals to the appropriate agencies to look at the issues because family violence can be a catalyst to cause other problems."
Inspector Kayne said Knox officers had taken a strong stance against family violence and would like to "eradicate or reduce it as much as possible" but community help was also needed. Reported incidents of deception were also up 43.9 per cent, and there were 66 more weapons and explosives offences recorded in the 2011-12 period.
Inspector Kayne said deception cases could include credit card fraud but the figures weren't necessarily representative of crime for the year. "Sometimes, these cases can go unreported, but when they do get reported, a lot of other similar offences can be found at the time."
Rape, robbery, handling stolen goods, drug trafficking and manufacturing, and antisocial behaviour in public places offences were all down for the year. Rape offences decreased by 22.2 per cent, with 42 offences recorded compared to 54 in the previous period.
Inspector Kayne said these figures also weren't necessarily a true indicator of what was happening in the area, because report rates varied so much. He wanted people to feel confident in reporting sexual offences and he was confident the Knox sexual assault unit aided that confidence.
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