THIEVES are out of control in Rochester.
According to the latest crime statistics, theft in the 3561 postcode has risen 139.2 per cent in the 12 months to June.
The total crime rate has increased by 64.4 per cent.
Within the Campaspe Shire, theft is our most prevalent crime with 1,083 offences recorded — a 25 per cent jump from the previous year.
Burglaries and break and enters are also occurring across Campaspe at a rate of more than one a day, with 394 offences — an increase of 14 per cent.
And Campaspe police Inspector Geoff Owen is not happy about it.
‘‘Burglary and theft data is a trend that has increased and Campaspe police continue to undertake disruption activity against our known thieves and burglars, making them keep their head low,’’ he said.
‘‘Unfortunately a lot of the smaller property thefts that make up the percentage increase are opportunistic and from unlocked and unsecure locations.
‘‘Police are trying their hardest to drive down theft, but the community also have a role to play by safeguarding and making their property as secure and safe as possible.
‘‘The vast majority of theft from motor vehicle comes from unlocked vehicles as an example of where the community can protect itself.’’
There have been 122 thefts in Rochester this year (51 arrests in 2016).
Burglaries and break and enters have risen by 71 per cent, with 53 recorded this year.
Drug use and possession is down 66 per cent to just four (15 arrests in 2016).
Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said it is ‘‘concerning that people don’t feel safe any more’’.
‘‘What the chief commissioner said about policing in the Campaspe region being adequate is wrong and these statistics prove that,’’ he said.
‘‘There needs to be more policing across the board.
‘‘I think if you walk down the street of Rochester and ask the people this is very real.’’
Mr Walsh said country towns have lost a great attribute of security.
‘‘You used to be able to not lock your car or house or have to have CCTV because you were safe — we have lost that,’’ he said.
‘‘People are scared and something needs to be done about it.’’
Insp Owen said it was a ‘‘concern’’ to Campaspe police that certain crime offences within the shire have risen in the past 12 months.
‘‘However I also look at the overall crime trend for Campaspe which indicates a small decrease of 0.3 per cent,’’ he said.
‘‘I would like to see a larger decrease, however I am happy to see overall crime flatline rather than increase.’’