REVEALED: Stats show crime is on the rise
CRIME across the Darling Downs has increased more than six per cent in the past year to total 26,336 offences reported to police.
The Annual Statistical Review for 2016-2017 revealed a 2% increase in crime across the state, including a spike in the Darling Downs.
Unlawful use of a motor vehicle (up 38% from the year prior) and unlawful entry into houses (up 6.3%) were identified as among the highest increases across all crime categories.
Fraud offences increased by 17.7% while computer fraud decreased by 10.7%, along with decreases in cheque fraud (down 23.7%) and other fraud offences down by 47.6%.
Identity fraud increased from 409 offences in the 2015-2016 financial year to 864 offences, or by 20.5%.
District Officer Superintendent Mark Kelly said the increase was adjusted for population growth in the Darling Downs region and while crimes targeting people had decreased over the past decade, property crime had risen.
"A lot of unlawful entry to motor vehicle offences and other property thefts are opportunistic and are preventable," Supt. Kelly said.
"We urge the community to use all available security options to prevent opportunistic thefts as a result of unlocked or unsecured property.
"The Darling Downs District, in conjunction with detectives and uniform police, have established dedicated property operations in Toowoomba City, the Lockyer Valley and Warwick Patrol Group to address the challenge of property crime."
In Toowoomba that has included installing signs in several suburbs urging people to lock their homes and vehicles against opportunistic offenders.
Supt. Kelly urged the community to adopt preventative measures and be cautious when providing personal information in relation to the increase in fraud offences.
"Over the past 10 years the rate of fraud offences has stayed the same when adjusted for population growth, however with ongoing advancements in technology, fraudulent activity continues to be prevalent in our community with 1203 offences reported in the Darling Downs district over the past 12 months," Supt. Kelly said.
Domestic and family violence applications increased from 526 to 554 year on year, with about 70% of those initiated by police in the 2016-2017 financial year.
The number of breaches to domestic and family violence protection orders increased from 882 to 964.
"Darling Downs District Police will continue to work with the community including Toowoomba Together, Domestic Violence Support Agencies, other government departments and the broader community to support victims and to take actions against domestic violence offenders," Supt. Kelly said.