BATHURST police are continuing to drive down property crime with the latest statistics showing falls in the number of fraud cases and incidents of malicious damage, motor vehicle theft and stealing from motor vehicles.
Chifley Police District commander Superintendent Peter O'Brien has welcomed the findings in the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research's latest quarterly update, saying proactive policing strategies had again delivered good results for Bathurst.
Most major crime categories were either falling or stable and Supt O'Brien said the report card for the 12 months to December 2019 was pleasing.
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"We've got more reductions (in crime categories) than increases, and any which have increased are marginal for a 12-month period," he said.
Among the categories to fall were thefts from motor vehicles, fraud, malicious damage, motor vehicle thefts and stealing from person.
Thefts from motor vehicles fell sharply. In the 12 months to December 2018 there were 283 incidents reported to police, dropping to just 185 in the following year.
Fraud was also down significantly from 296 reports for the 2018 period to 254 the following year.
Thefts from person were down from 29 to 17 and malicious damage to property also took a tumble.
In 2018 the figures were 485 while 12 months on they were down to 443.
Non domestic violence-related assaults fell from 255 to 249 in 2019 while motor vehicle thefts were down from 70 in 2018 to 62 the following year.
On the flipside, sexual assaults, break and enters and retail thefts all increased, with sex assaults jumping from 44 in 2018 to 66 in 2019.
Break and enters (dwelling) increased from 233 in 2018 to 283 for the following period and thefts from retail stores jumped from 141 to 164.
Domestic violence-related assaults increased marginally from 226 to 238.
Regarding the sexual assaults and domestic violence figures, Supt O'Brien welcomed an increased reporting of incidents to police.
"These are areas where traditionally people haven't come forward, and we welcome the fact victims are now reporting," he said, adding there were now better reporting regimes for domestic violence victims.
Supt O'Brien said the increase in sexual assaults generally related to historic cases which have come to light as a result of royal commissions into both childhood and elderly abuse.
He said the community could "rest assured" the spike wasn't a case of random attacks or a criminal trend.
"These are instances where the victim is known to the offender. I see it as a positive that victims are now reporting these crimes which also have a high legal action rate," he said.
While there was an increase in retail thefts (from 141 to 164), Supt O'Brien said the figures were not high enough to indicate a trend .
He welcomed figures showing thefts from motor vehicles were declining but said everyone needed to take responsibility for removing valuables from their car and securing their vehicle.
"It's very much a crime of opportunity," he said.