Crime up in Wangaratta and Moira

Thursday 15 June 2017

Daniel Andrews refuses to take action to fix the violent crime rate in Victoria, Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said.

New figures released by the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency today show crime across the Moira region increased 41.95 per cent since Daniel Andrews was elected. In the Wangaratta Local Government area crime rose 2.99 per cent since December 2014.

“Our community has been abandoned by the Premier for Melbourne while the crime rate spirals out of control,” Mr McCurdy said.

“Offenders have been emboldened by the Andrews Labor Government’s watered-down bail laws, weakened sentencing and no increase in frontline police.”

In the Wangaratta township, there was a 9.3 per cent increase in crimes against the person, from 388 offences in March 2016 to 424 in March 2017.

Drug use and possession increased 35 per cent since 2016 while weapons and explosives offences increased from 71 offences in March 2016 to 114 on March 2017 – an increase of 60.6 per cent.

Mr McCurdy said concerns regarding the rising crime rate would be discussed at a law and order community forum being held in Wangaratta on 31 July.

“Ovens Valley residents have a right to feel safe in their homes and on the streets,” Mr McCurdy said.

“Our laws and justice system must reflect that community expectation and local people will have the opportunity to raise their concerns at the forum.

“We cannot simply stand by while the lifestyle we enjoy in this region is threatened by increasing levels of crime.”

Shadow Minister for Community Safety Edward O’Donohue, who will be a guest speaker at the forum, said Daniel Andrews couldn’t fix the violent crime rate by continuing to give repeat violent offenders four, five or six chances before sending them to jail.

“Until this Premier starts to put the rights of innocent Victorians before the rights of violent criminals, we will not see any decline in violent crime rates,” Mr O’Donohue said.

The Law and Order Community Forum will be held on Monday 31 July at the Wangaratta Turf Club from 7-9pm. Other speakers include John Pesutto, Shadow Attorney General and Tania Maxwell, co-founder of the Enough is Enough campaign.

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