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Connecting people & communities BERWICK

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Thursday, 23 March, 2017

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.com.au Thursday, 23

March, 2017

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Crime battle ‘lost’ By Cam Lucadou-Wells Casey mayor Sam Aziz says “we’ve lost the battle” after Casey’s crime rate soared during 2016, according to official crime statistics. According to the Crime Statistics Agency, reported offences in Casey went up 12.5 per cent on a per-capita basis (15 per cent on raw figures). It was higher than the statewide percapita crime-rate rise of 10.2 per cent. Cr Aziz said his concerted law-andorder campaign - including lowering the council’s flag to half-mast and declaring Casey as a “city in distress” - was vindicated by crime’s “exponential” growth. “I was a bit more than surprised by the (latest statistics),” Cr Aziz said. “I was heart-broken. There is very much a human side to these statistics. “In reality, people’s lives are disrupted every day by the rise of crime. It flows on to depression, break-ups in families - it makes people feel very insecure.” Overall, there were more than 2200 assaults in 2016 - up 20.9 per cent, more than 2800 burglaries - up 31.5 per cent, and 8000-plus thefts - up 17.8 per cent. Put another way, that’s more than 40 assaults, about 55 burglaries and about 150 thefts a week. Arsons nearly doubled to 256 for the calendar year. On the other hand, drug offences were down 8.6 per cent; trafficking and drug dealing dipped 25 per cent, while drug cultivation and manufacture halved. Hardest hit suburbs for burglaries were Berwick (up 40 per cent), Clyde North (up 46 per cent), Cranbourne West (up 31 per cent), Hallam (up 40 per cent) and Hampton Park (up 67 per cent). Cr Aziz called for a stronger response from the State Government, which has pledged 3135 extra police

The face of our crime wave - Rick Maaskant says he was recently stabbed with a pitchfork by intruders in his home. For more of his story, go to Picture: CAM LUCADOU-WELLS page 3. 166170

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lose the war as well.” Police Minister Lisa Neville said police were making more arrests than ever as part of a crime crackdown across the state.

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“What we are seeing in these statistics is the results of this enforcement activity and the beginnings of a stabilisation in the number of offences. Continued page 3

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officers in Victoria over the next five years. He reiterated his call for a reversal of Endeavour Hills police station’s “part-time” status, tougher sentencing,

News - Berwick - 23rd March 2017  
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