This publication provides crime data over a ten-year period for Victoria’s local government areas (LGAs) with a brief overview for the whole of Victoria. The data is derived from Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) as recorded by Victoria Police and extracted from the Victoria Police Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) database.
For the whole of Victoria for the year ended March 2018, the total number of criminal offences decreased by 7.4 per cent, from 542,893 in 2017 to 502,858. For the same period, the offence rate decreased by 9.5 per cent, from 8,585.2 to 7,773.2 per 100,000 population.
Although most offence categories in Victoria decreased over the twelve months to March 2018, crimes against the person rose by 0.9 per cent, driven by an increase of 1,586 sexual offences. Taking the population increase in Victoria into account for the year ended March 2018, the rate for crimes against the person decreased marginally over the year from, 1,258.2 to 1,240.7 offences per 100,000 population. However, sexual offences rose from 211.4 to 231.1 offences per 100,000 population.
The crime statistics in this paper have been collated under the two main categories of offences recorded and offence rates (per 100,000 population ) and include statistics for the following five major recorded crime categories:
1. Crimes against the person;
2. Property and deception offences;
3. Drug offences;
4. Public order and security offences; and
5. Justice procedures offences.
For each of these crime categories:
a) The five LGAs with the highest number of offences for the year ended March 2018 are identified;
b) The five LGAs with the highest offence rates for the year ended March 2018 are identified; and
c) Data for the five LGAs identified in (a) and (b) are presented with a ten-year snapshot revealing
variations in the five crime categories between April 2008 to March 2018.
Summary data for all recorded crimes is presented for all Victorian LGAs in Section 2a and 2b and Appendix 1.
Tables with offence numbers and offence rates per 100,000 population for the five major recorded crime categories can be found in the Appendices 2–6.
- Over the last decade, the LGA of Melbourne has had significantly higher total crime offences than any other LGA in Victoria. In terms of offence rates per 100,000 population however, it has experienced a
- significant overall reduction in the crime rate over the same period. Coming in at second place for both total crime offences and the offence rate was Greater Geelong.
Crimes against the person
The five LGAs with the highest number of offences in the category of crimes against the person were all in the greater metropolitan area. When controlled for population size, the top five LGA offence rates for this category were dominated by non-metropolitan LGAs, with the exception of Melbourne. Over the past decade the rate for crimes against the person has been gradually decreasing for Melbourne. Since the year ended March 2014, Latrobe in the Gippsland region of eastern Victoria recorded a higher rate of crimes against the person than Melbourne.
Property and deception
When considering offences over the last decade, the LGA of Melbourne has had significantly higher property and deception offences than any other LGA in Victoria; nevertheless, all of the top five LGAs (including Melbourne) experienced a decrease in offences during the year ended March 2018. The highest offence rates in this category were dominated by metropolitan LGAs with the exception of Latrobe. The LGA of Melbourne experienced a significant fall in the offence rate throughout the decade.
The top five LGAs for drug offences were Melbourne, Greater Dandenong, Brimbank, Knox and Greater Geelong, trending up over the decade. Of these, all but Brimbank experienced an increase in drug offences in the year ended March 2018. Melbourne was the only metropolitan LGA in the top five for drug offence rates, which were dominated by LGAs in regional Victoria, namely: Northern Grampians, Warrnambool, Ararat and Southern Grampians.
Public order and security
Over the last decade, the LGA of Melbourne has had significantly higher public order and security offences, which peaked in the year ended March 2011, mainly due to a significant increase in drunk and disorderly offences.
The number of justice procedures offences and the offence rate for this category have been rising since 2013, largely as a result of breaches of new bail offences and new family violence orders that came into force at that time. The highest offence rates were all recorded in the regional LGAs of Latrobe, Horsham, Central Goldfields, Swan Hill and Greater Shepparton, which rose marginally in the last twelve months.