ANNUAL crime statistics released yesterday may reveal a lot more about crime in Orange than the recent spate of break-ins would indicate.
As readers of the Central Western Daily would know, north Orange has been the target of burglars in the last two weeks, with several homes robbed in the space of a few days.
If this level of burglaries were to continue police would indeed have a crime wave on their hands.
However, as Orange’s Local Area Commander has noted, underneath the ebb and flow of opportunistic break-ins there are also the patterns of other types of crime they must also plan strategies to combat.
It is likely that significant increases in indecent and sexual assaults and domestic violence may be the result of more victims reporting these offences.
That would indicate that public awareness campaigns urging victims to come forward and end a cycle of violence are gaining traction.
While the crimes themselves are appalling they will only end when victims see them for what they are and go to the police.
Assaults outside of a domestic situation fell in the last 12 months.
This would please police as under-reporting is probably not a factor and Orange has probably seen a genuine decline in the level of violent behaviour.
Outside of the home, vehicles are the scene of the most thefts in Orange.
While technology is making cars harder to steal, smashing a car window and stealing valuables in plain sight is as easy as it ever was.
The lesson here is an old and often repeated one; don’t leave valuables in a car where an opportunistic thief can see them.
Police can take some satisfaction from the annual crime data, but they will no doubt be focused on reducing the numbers in all categories.
As the group that deals with the immediate consequences of crime every day they know that every number represents a person who, at best, is dealing with financial loss and inconvenience and, at worst, a truly traumatising event.