PER CAPITA, Orange is among the most violent cities in the state, according to the latest figures from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
The figures, based on local government areas, show Orange [population 40,000] had 387 non-domestic violence related assaults in the 12 months prior to September 2012, compared to Bathurst’s 284 [population 39,900] and Dubbo’s 369 [44,000].
Bourke had 90 cases but topped the state when its populatuion of just 2868 was taken into account.
Sexual assault was also prevalent in Orange with 43 cases, compared to 34 in Bathurst and 45 in Dubbo.
Orange City Council crime prevention committee chair Glenn Taylor said the figures were a major concern.
“Especially compared to cities of comparable size, yes it is a big problem,” he said.
Cr Taylor said it was unfortunate the days of walking home after a night out were over.
“We need to face it, Orange is now a large country city and the days of very low crime are well and truly gone,” he said.
“That’s not to say council and the crime committee and the police won’t be continuing to address the issue.”
Cr Taylor said previous profiles compiled by the committee and the police suggested the most common age group for assault offenders was men between 18-25.
He said measures had been put in place to address the demographic, such as the Wingman campaign.
“It was where you looked out for your mate and tried to get them to maybe have one less and just made sure they got home okay,” he said.
Cr Taylor said the committee would work with the police to find out if the demographic was still the main concern and other ways to address the issue.
“We need to find out why the rate was so much higher in Orange and that is one thing we will be bringing up at the first committee.”
According to the Bureau’s figures, Orange had 218 vehicles stolen during the period compared to 89 in Bathurst and 116 in Dubbo.
Steal from dwellings numbered 183 here compared to 157 in Bathurst and 224 in Dubbo.