Criminal activity continues to increase in the Cardinia Shire, according to latest figures.
For the year ending July 2020, new data released by the Crime Statistics Agency shows the municipality saw 5458 crimes committed in the past 12 months.
The number came as a 13 percent increase from the 4842 recorded in 2019.
Pakenham recorded the highest number of these incidents, 3269, compared with Officer at just 641.
Neighbouring suburbs Beaconsfield, Emerald and Cockatoo each recorded 270, 173 and 171.
Over in the City of Casey, there were 17,424 criminal incidents, an increase of seven percent on the year before which saw 16,410.
The hardest hit suburb in Casey was Cranbourne at 2450 incidents, followed by Narre Warren 2155, Berwick 2044 and Hampton Park 1423.
The most common crime committed in Cardinia Shire between July 2019 and June this year, were thefts from motor vehicles.
There were a total of 667 thefts from motor vehicles, 483 cases of criminal damage, and 482 of family violence.
The data showed there was a decent 13 percent upsurge of family violence incidents within the Cardinia Shire.
Last year there were 4842 family violence cases, but this year totalled 5458.
Member for Gembrook Brad Battin described the latest crime statistics for Cardinia Shire and City of Casey as “alarming”.
“In the past six months, Daniel Andrews has diverted the attention of the Victoria Police to focus on implementing his curfew for Victoria or to make sure people do not travel more than 5 km from home,” Mr Battin said.
“Crime has had one consistent problem in Casey and Cardinia; it has continued to rise under Labor.”
“It is time to get the government change their policy and get police back to the beat and stop having them worry about a person travelling six kilometres to Bunnings.”
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner for regional operations Rick Nugnet announced the launch of a new operation.
Operation Alliance has already commenced across the state and is aimed at preventing, disrupting and dismantling gangs, particularly street gangs.
“Some of these gangs, we know, are responsible for the serious and violent crime that’s been occurring in both metro Melbourne but also in some rural areas over the past year or so,” Deputy Commissioner Nugnet said.
“They are responsible for car thefts, aggravated burglaries, home invasions, robberies, serious assaults and knife crime.
“What we have observed are these gangs starting to move outside of their local areas.”
Deputy Commissioner Nugnet said Victoria Police will now have an integrated and coordinated approach to gangs in every region, in every division and in every police service area across the state.
In relation to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the data, Deputy Commissioner Nugnet said police did see a trend with reduced offending.
“The reduced people out in the community with the restrictions that were imposed, we saw less people on the roads, less people out in the streets, less shops open.
“So we did see a trend with some of the offences for example theft with shops not being open.
“Disorderly conduct – again with a lot of premises closes particularly pubs and nightclubs.”
Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale has been contacted for comment.