THE recent release of the current crime statistics indicates Mildura remains high on the list of rankings of criminal incidents, despite a slight decrease in numbers of 0.2 percent.
Mildura Superintendent of Police, Rebecca Olsen, that the reduction was nonetheless a significant shift.
“There are a number of factors that contribute to this decline, and I cannot understate the work that our community stakeholders do in supporting our organisation, victims and offenders for the betterment of Mildura,” she said.
“For the first time in many years our vacancy rate is low and our positions are being filled. We have been successfully recruiting locally, with many people seeing the variety of career opportunities that we can offer and we have become an employer of choice.”
Mildura police had been allocated additional resources over the last two years and are reaping the benefits of those member’s skills and dedication.
Mildura’s family violence rates are a blight on our community and sadly the number of incidents continues to be a major concern, something that puts huge demands on local police resources.
Up until December last year there were 204 recorded serious family violence assaults and 412 breaches of family violence orders, something that Supt. Olsen is acutely aware of.
“One family violence incident is one too many and we know the impact of family violence is far reaching – this is high impact offending,” she said.
“There is a significant increase across all of our justice procedures, inclusive of the breach of IVO (Intervention Order) and I see this very much as positive as unpleasant as it is.
“It reflects confidence in the orders that are in place to protect and support vulnerable families and the focus on driving recidivism repeat offenders and victims down.”
Supt. Olsen said that drug addiction and mental health issues are often at the forefront of incidents of crime in the community.
“The level of offending that involves offenders with drug addition, and or mental health issues, is the greatest challenge for us and this reaches across all crime categories,” she said.
“We will continue to focus on youth-engagement and improving the outcomes for many in the years to come. The time we spend now as a community is investment in many for the future.
“I am already seeing young lives changing for the better and this motivates our staff to continue to come to work each and every day. My teams genuinely come to work to make a difference in the communities in which they live, they work hard in often difficult circumstances – their efforts are inspirational.”
Supt. Olsen said she acknowledges that this is a difficult and challenging time in our community given the social dislocation and hardship being experienced due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“I encourage that people act in a respectful and law-abiding manner,” she said.
“We are working closely with our partners to ensure that our community stays as safe as possibly can be – everyone has a part to play.”