He also called for caution in the face of the continued decline in domestic violence, which remains a significant problem, especially in vulnerable communities.
“While these reductions are positive, they should be treated with caution as we know domestic violence is still under-reported in many parts of Victoria,” Nugent said.
“Domestic violence is and will remain an important priority for Victoria Police.”
He said it was the second annual drop in domestic violence rates, including violations of domestic violence intervention orders, since the pandemic began in 2020.
While reports of domestic violence have decreased, the number of assaults outside the home has increased.
Deception offenses rose 107% during the year but, according to Nugent, that figure was skewed by two alleged offenders charged with hundreds of counts of stealing credit cards and identity documents.
In Brighton, where model and presenter Bec Judd claimed residents lived in fear due to the increase in crime, the number of crimes fell by 829 offenses compared to the previous 12-month period.
Across the Bayside Local Government Area, crime fell more than 12% during the year.
The Crime Statistics Agency’s chief statistician, Fiona Dowsley, said the relaxation of public health orders has helped lower crime across the state.
“[This has] resulted in fewer breaches of CHO guidelines, resulting in lower key crime metrics over the past 12 months,” she said.
“Decreases in acquisitive crimes such as theft and deception also contributed to the decrease in key measures of crime, following trends seen throughout the pandemic period.”
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