Crime has been down in all areas in Victoria over the past 12 months – including in the affluent suburb of Brighton, where influencer Rebecca Judd claimed a crime wave was driven by ‘rape, bashing and home invasions.
Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency released crime data for the year ending June 30 on Thursday.
Statistics showed statewide victimization rates are the lowest since 2004.
Victoria Police recorded 469,506 criminal offenses in the 12 months to June, up from 521,645 in the same period a year earlier. This represents a decrease of 10%.
Covid restrictions were in place for around 85 days of the current reporting cycle, but Victoria Police say the trend continued once the lockdowns ended.
Significantly, the statistics run counter to claims that Bayside LGA was experiencing a crime spree in June last year.
Judd’s claims helped push the Victorian Liberal opposition to promise a new police station in Brighton if elected in November.
Victoria Police closed Brighton Police Station in 2010 when the Liberal Party was in government.
The total number of offenses recorded in the Bayside area was 4,550 through June this year, down 5.1% from 4,796 in 2021.
Criminal incidents in Bayside were again the lowest of any southern metro area at 3,495 per 100,000. That figure is down from 3,667 in 2021.
The 3,495 criminal incidents are the second lowest figure in all of metropolitan Melbourne ahead of only Nillumbik at 1,293 per 100,000 population.
By comparison, Melbourne recorded 25,482 criminal incidents per 100,000 population in the previous 12 months.
Wyndham had 12,173 and Brimbank had 11,883.
There have been 296 assaults at Bayside in the past 12 months, up from 299 in 2021. At Brighton there were 72, down from 73 the year before.
Judd took to Instagram last year to accuse the Victorian government of letting crime spiral out of control in the area.
“So sick of the rapes, bashings and home invasions at the hands of Bayside gangs,” she wrote in an Instagram Story.
“The state government doesn’t seem to care. We don’t feel safe.
However, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews hit back at the time saying he was ‘not interested in arguing with Ms Judd’ after claiming the state government did not care about the security concerns of Brighton residents.
“I am also compelled to point out, however, that I believe there are over 70 additional police officers in the Bayside area,” Mr Andrews said.
A news.com.au analysis of crime statistics released in June showed the Bayside local government area was the safest in the southern metropolitan area and the second safest Melbourne council area overall .
He revealed burglaries and break and enters in Bayside were at a 10-year low last year.
Judd hit back saying she was concerned about a spike after this reporting period which had yet to be shown in data from Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency.
“I’m glad my voice has brought to light the escalation of aggravated burglaries in Bayside,” Judd told The Australian.
But data released Thursday reveals there has been no spike in overall crime.
Brighton MP James Newbury said the station would be a game-changer for affected residents.
“The Brighton community has been the victim of disturbing crime incidents; we need to improve safety and crime prevention measures in our local community,” said Newbury.
“A new police storefront, on a busy shopping street like Church St, will be a game-changer for Brighton, Brighton East and Hampton.”