Northern Rivers crime rates fall
CRIME figures for assaults, theft and fraud have fallen sharply on the Northern Rivers, according to new figures released last week by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
Shoplifting was the only recorded offence on the rise, showing a 5.2 per cent increase across the region, particularly at large shopping centres.
Non-domestic violent assaults are down by almost one-fifth in Lismore and Ballina, while home break-ins are down by more than a quarter in both areas.
Byron Bay showed almost a one-third drop in car thefts, while Ballina has seen an eight per cent fall in reported fraud.
Richmond Local Area Commander, Acting Superintendent Gary Cowan, attributed the drop in crime to targeted operations and proactive crime reduction strategies by police.
“We are really encouraged by current crime trends within the command,” he said.
“There are no areas showing any significant increases in crime rates.”
Acting Supt Cowen said police had been specifically targeting licensed premises where assaults occurred and were working with councils to protect taxi ranks so people could get home safely at night.
He said the reduction in break-ins was probably the result of residents and businesses becoming more aware of security and he encouraged people to take advantage of police security audits.
“The police can only do so much; people have to take responsibility too,” he said.
Though reported domestic violence assaults were steady, Acting Supt Cowen said police were putting programs in place to assist repeat offenders.
“These figures show to the community that police are doing their utmost to protect them,” Acting Supt Cowen said.