Moree has seen a significant drop in criminal activity across the board according to the latest crime snapshot of the shire.
The latest quarterly crime figures from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) revealed that nearly all of the 17 major crime categories recorded a decline in the 12 months to September 2018.
Stealing from a motor vehicle, retail store and person, as well as fraud offences, were the only four categories to increase over the 12 months to September 2018. Steal from a retail store saw the biggest rise, up 36 per cent.
All other categories saw a drop in numbers.
Robbery with a firearm plummeted by 100 per cent, from three incidents to zero over the 12-month period, while robbery with a weapon and not a firearm saw a 50 per cent drop from 10 incidents to five.
Rates of sexual assault also fell significantly, by 43 per cent from 42 to 24 incidents.
There were also not as many break-ins to homes or businesses in the 12 months to September 2018, with break and enter dwelling down from 406 incidents to 267 (34 per cent) and break and enter non-dwelling down from 209 to 146 incidents (30 per cent).
Even more positive is the fact that five of the major crime issues in Moree have all recorded significant drops over the two years to September 2018.
Sexual assaults have plummeted 42.9 per cent, home break-ins have dropped by 34.2 per cent, stealing from homes has declined by 28.3 per cent, domestic violence related assault has gone down 18.3 per cent and malicious damage to property has decreased by 10.5 per cent.
And, better still, violent offences overall have decreased by 15.5 per cent over the past two years, and dropped 6.8 per cent in the five years to September 2018.
New England Police District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner said the drop in crime is a result of a number of factors, including “good old-fashioned police work”.
“High risk offenders are being charged and put away,” he said.
“Community resilience is also a factor; the community is more willing to come forward and report crime and assist police in solving crime. I think the community got to a stage where they had had enough.
“[The decrease] is a win for police but a win for the community as well.”
Superintendent Tanner said police are doing a lot of preventative work, with good programs happening at the PCYC, as well as a focus on reducing the rates of domestic violence.
“We’re using a lot of proactive strategies around domestic violence,” he said.
“If you’ve got an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), we’ll check in on you and make sure you’re complying with it. It’s about that accountability – it’s not just a piece of paper.
“We’re also referring offenders to a support program and have seen a lot of positive things come from it.”
With the addition of three new probationary constables, Moree Police Station is currently at full capacity for the first time in a long time, which Superintendent Tanner said “makes a big difference”.
“This time last year we had 13 vacancies, now we have zero,” he said.
Superintendent Tanner said police were also pleased with the behaviour of racegoers from the Moree Twilight Races over the weekend.
“The behaviour was very good from such a large crowd, with only minor incidents,” he said.
“We worked with the licenced premises beforehand to help minimise the risks. Overall it was very good for the town.”