Ice and fraud cause jump in Sunshine Coast crime rate
THE weight of police ice seizures have increased more than 100% in the past five years on the Sunshine Coast.
And the rate of fraud offences - including card skimming and record falsification - has almost doubled in the past financial year.
An increase in the rate of drug and fraud offences have been among the biggest contributors to the Coast's crime rate rising 8.5% in 2014-15.
In releasing the Queensland Police Service Annual Statistical Review today, Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller said it was important for locals to have a snapshot of crime rates and trends across the state.
She said it was important to note the Sunshine Coast had a 10.6% drop in the rate of offences against the person, the rate of assaults were down 7.3% and the robbery rate fell 3.9%.
"Coast residents are also now safer in their homes with a drop of 1.5% in the rate of house break-ins and a drop in the rate of shop break-ins of 29.8%," she said.
Ms Miller said it was not surprising to see an increase in the rate of drug offences across the district.
"Given that over the past five years, the weight of police ice seizures have increased more than 100%, these figures make sense," she said.
"We must not lose sight of the fact that this also means that our police are nabbing more drug-peddlers and keeping more dangerous drugs off the street."
Sunshine Coast District Officer Acting Superintendent Bruce McNab said a lot of crime was opportunistic and preventable.
"It is encouraging to see a steady decrease in some of these offences and demonstrates the community is actively participating in crime prevention," he said.
"Police will continue with proactive policing and community programs, such as the Sunshine Coast myPolice blog and Neighbourhood Watch groups.
"I also encourage the community to remain vigilant, with the rate in fraud offences increasing by 47%.
"There was a decrease in computer fraud and credit card fraud. Cheque fraud rose 61.1% and identity fraud rose by 25%.
"Other fraud offences such as card skimming or falsification of records increased from 461 offences in 2013-14 to 945 offences in 2014-15.
"It is important to note, however, that the increase in offences can be largely attributed to two offenders being charged with 448 offences related to stolen prescriptions.
"It is extremely important that people protect their identity and not give their details to unverified third parties and to destroy bank statements and personal documentation rather than simply throwing them in the bin.
"Fraud criminals are out there and once your identity is taken, it takes a lot of hard work to get it back again."
Ms Miller said it was important to reinstate the annual statistical review to ensure locals had a clear picture of what was going on across their district.
"When comparing crime statistics, you can't compare apples to oranges and you can't cherry-pick," she said.
SUNSHINE COAST SNAPSHOT
The overall crime rate for the Sunshine Coast District has increased 8.5%.
Offences against the person:
- The overall crime rate of offences against the person decreased 10.6% in 2014-15.
- The number of homicide (murder) offences decreased from four in 2013-14 to one in 2014-15.
- The rate of assault offences decreased 7.3 %.
- The rate of rape and attempted rape offences rose 5.8%. The rate of other sexual offences decreased 15.1%.
- The rate of robbery offences decreased 3.9% when adjusted for population growth. Armed robbery offences fell from 34 in 2013-14 to 31 in 2014-15.
- The rate of other offences against the person including kidnapping and abduction offences decreased 30%.
Offences against property:
- The overall crime rate of offences against property increased 2.5 % in the past 12 months.
- The rate of break-ins in the Sunshine Coast District dropped 2.7%. Unlawful entry to houses decreased 1.5% while unlawful entry into shops decreased 29.8% and unlawful entry into other premises rose 2.6%.
- The number of arson offences increased from 50 offences in 2013-14 to 58 offences in 2014-15.
- The rate of other property damage offences fell 12.8% when population growth is taken into consideration.
- The rate of unlawful use of motor vehicle offences rose 1.9%.
- The rate of other theft offences rose 1.5%.
- The rate of fraud offences rose 47%. Computer fraud decreased 4.2%, credit card fraud fell 10%. Cheque fraud rose 61.1%, identity fraud rose 25%. Other fraud offences increased from 461 in 2013-14 to 945 offences in 2014-15.
- The overall rate of other offences increased 17.5% in the past 12 months.
- The rate of drug offences increased 21.4% when adjusted for population growth.
- The number of prostitution offences remained the same with five offences in 2013-14 and five offences in 2014-15.
- The rate of liquor offences increased 51.9%.
- The rate of weapons act offences increased 34.6% when adjusted for population growth.
- The rate of good order offences rose 24.7%.
- * The above %ages relate to the number of reported offences per 100,000 people.