Something happened to Victoria’s crime rate in 2021 as the state spent much of the year in lockdown due to Covid-19.
Crime in Victoria has fallen significantly, with the Crime Statistics Agency reporting the lowest victim rates in history.
In statistics released by the agency on Thursday, the rate of recorded offenses fell 12.8% over the past year, as did the number of offenses, which also fell 12.8%.
The statistics are believed to have dropped to record lows due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the state has been under strict lockdowns for much of 2021.
While police previously predicted crime would rise as the community returned to normal, Victorian Deputy Commissioner for Regional Operations Rick Nugent said this has not happened in the final weeks of 2021 despite the openness of the community.
“There was some hesitation with people going back to a sort of post-Covid normalcy, less use of public transport, people tending to stay closer to home, people are still working from home, which I think made a difference,” he said. .
“But at the same time, we worked hard to make sure all of our systems and processes were in place for post-pandemic to make sure we could prevent any rollbacks, but also keep crime going. as low as possible.”
CSA data analyzed recorded crime statistics for 2021.
Victimization rates for property, deception and drug offenses also fell, with the agency reporting a 3.3% decline.
The number of person-related victim reports fell 3.6% to its lowest level since 2011, as did the number of organization reports, which fell 9.6%.
The criminal incident rate also decreased by 13.0% in 2021, as did the number of incidents, which decreased by 13.2%.
Alleged incidents against offenders decreased by 18.9%.
CSA chief statistician Fiona Dowsley said the decline in thefts and burglaries had brought the victimization rate down to the lowest levels ever seen.
“As Covid-related health responses and restrictions have evolved, there have been fewer breaches of CHO guidelines recorded over the past 12 months,” Ms Dowsley said.
Concerns that cases of violence would increase because of the closures were not reflected in the data.
Domestic incidents in 2021 decreased by 1.5%, the first decline since 2017. The rate of domestic incidents has also decreased over the past 12 months, down 1.2%.
The only crime to increase in 2021 was related to domestic violence, with the agency reporting a 6.3% increase in violations of domestic violence orders as well as common assault and criminal damage.
Domestic incidents fell 1.5% over the past 12 months to 91,144 incidents, the first drop since 2017.
The domestic incident rate has also fallen over the past 12 months, down 1.2 per cent to 1,364.7 incidents per 100,000 people in Victoria, also the first drop since 2017.
Mr Nugent said police continued to exercise caution around the matter.
“When the pandemic started, we were concerned about the impact on family members of perpetrators of domestic violence…so was proactively checking in on victims, to make sure they were in safety, support and assistance, that they were not subject to ongoing domestic violence,” he said. noted.
“I would not like to see a significant increase in these crimes, this is the first reduction in domestic violence offenses since 2017.
“You get fluctuations in crime, but let’s do everything we can to keep people safe.”