NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) data shows an increase in the number of domestic assaults, sexual offences and indecent assaults in Orange in the last 12 months.
However, this may be because victims are becoming more likely to report these offences, say police.
The BOCSAR figures released yesterday show domestic assaults jumped from 262 in March, 2013, to 313 in March this year, while sexual assaults rose from 28 to 32 in the past 12 months, and indecent assault and sexual offences increased from 32 to 46.
Canobolas Local Area Command Superintendent David Driver said even thought the number of reported incidents of domestic assault had increased in the past 12 months, this can, in part, be attributed to police encouraging people to report it.
“Any form of domestic violence is a crime and we encourage the reporting of it,” he said.
“We can’t discount the impact of positive pressure to report domestic violence.”
Superintendent Driver said police also encouraged the reporting of sexual offences and assaults.
The BOCSAR figures showed a decline in the number of non-domestic assaults in the past 12 months, which Superintendent Driver attributed to the combined efforts of many, including the police, the Orange Liquor Accord and staff and owners of licensed premises, who took a strong stance against alcohol-related violence.
However, in the past 12 months thefts from retail stores went up from 243 in 2013 to 302 this year.
“I know these figures are inflated due to police activities. If we didn’t run the stop steal operations we do, the numbers wouldn’t be as high, it’s to be expected,” Superintendent Driver said.
“Retail theft is a problem in Orange but we work with several of the stores to combat it.”
Thefts from residential premises also increased in the last year, jumping from 161 to 201.
Inspector Driver said in order to reduce the number of thefts, residents needed to ensure they locked their doors, windows and garages, and did not leave valuables outside.
“We have in the past gone through highs and lows of this occurring, but people need to make sure they don’t make themselves an easy target,” he said.
The number of thefts from motor vehicles jumped from 354 to 400 this year, prompting Superintendent Driver to issue a timely reminder for people not to leave valuables in their cars, including tools and electronic devices.
Superintendent Driver said while the BOCSAR figures were useful tools, because they were compiled several months ago they did not reflect what was happening in Orange at the moment.