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Family violence and youth offending drives spike in crime during Labor’s lockdown

Crime statistics released today by the independent Crime Statistics Agency reveal Victoria’s ongoing spike in family violence and youth offending has driven a 4.4 per cent increase in offences as crime hits a record high despite the ongoing effects of Daniel Andrews’ lockdown.

Today’s year ending September 2020 figures confirm an additional 445 criminal offences every week over the last 12 months – with total recorded offences, family violence and youth crime reaching record highs.

Family violence has continued to worsen during Victoria’s second COVID-19 wave, with a tragic 7,523 additional family violence offences for the year ending September 2020 – meaning more than 20 additional family violence offences each and every day over this period.

Additionally, violent youth offending has reached an all-time high with 32,194 alleged offender incidents being committed by people aged under 19, as 15 to 19-year-olds remain the largest cohort of offenders in cases of violent crimes against the person.

These figures come as Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data highlights the devastating impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on youth engagement with education and employment, with youth unemployment reaching 18.2 per cent and almost 40,000 fewer young Victorians are engaged with full-time education as of October 2020 compared to December 2019.

Today’s crime statistics have confirmed increases in the following offences over the year ending September 2020:

  • Family violence offences up 7.6 per cent

  • Drug possession up 19.9 per cent

  • Residential Aggravated Burglaries (home invasions) up 6.2 per cent

  • Contravene Family Violence Safety Notice up 17.6 per cent

  • Contravene Family Violence Interim Intervention Order up 31.6 per cent

  • Sexual offences against children up 65.1 per cent

These increases come as the proportion of property and crimes against the person being solved within 30 days has plummeted and community confidence in Victoria Police has reached a decade low.

Further confusion remains in relation to the status of COVID-19 fines, with confirmation yesterday that almost twice as many have been withdrawn as have been paid and only around 7 per cent of outstanding fines have been paid in full.

With crime worsening throughout Daniel Andrews’ prolonged lockdown, Victorians across the state have been left to bear the brunt of the economic, social and safety consequences of Labor’s second wave.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Community Safety, David Southwick:

“It’s clear that Victorians continue to pay the economic, social and community safety price of Daniel Andrews’ hotel quarantine failures and second wave.

“With youth unemployment and engagement in education continuing to worsen, Daniel Andrews needs to act to keep young Victorians away from a life of crime.

“While offending in New South Wales has dropped during COVID-19, Victoria is hitting record highs and is now the hardest impacted by crime.

“Labor’s prolonged lockdown has created a perfect storm for family violence - households locked-in together, reporting and fleeing more difficult and fewer police and support services on hand to help.”

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