BREAK and enters, stealing from shops and assaults in Orange remain at more than twice the state average, with police unable to rein in the number of offences in the last quarter, according to crime statistics expert Don Weatherburn.
Mr Weatherburn, who has overseen the release of the latest data from the state’s independent crime reporting body the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, said Orange results were unusual in another way.
“All categories have remained stable compared to the previous quarter,” he said.
However, he said police had been unable to reduce three crime categories - non-domestic assaults that occur outside pubs and clubs, on a footpath or public place, which are twice the state average, break and enters, which are 2.7 times higher than the state average, and stealing from a retail store, which is 2.3 times above the state average.
“Assaults had been rising in Orange and police have stabilised this category of crime but they haven’t been able to bring it down along with those other two categories,” Mr Weatherburn said.
Canobolas Local Area Commander Superintendent David Driver said crime statistics depended on several factors.
“Police activity, seasonal conditions, and the number of recidivist offenders taken in to custody all contribute,” he said.
Mr Weatherburn said break and enters usually occurred at the rate of between 40 and 50 per month in Orange but in December last year residents were hit hard with 100 break and enters recorded.
Superintendent Driver said break and enters also accounted for flow-on crimes such as property theft of a handbag or wallet with money or credit cards, and the theft of car keys.
“Motor vehicles stolen are the break and enters that are common and we saw that at the beginning of this year,” he said.
Mr Weatherburn said sexual assaults reported in Orange remained at a low level with on average two to three a month reported to police.
“But what we have to remember with sexual assaults is that in 60 per cent of cases the assaults involved people known to the victim - either someone they went out on a date with or had been in a relationship with,” he said.
Mr Weatherburn said these sexual assault statistics debunked the public stereotype of predators usually committing sexual assaults.
On a more positive note Mr Weatherburn said robbery without a weapon, robbery with a firearm and robbery with a weapon other than a firearm were so low in Orange average statistics could not be calculated.
Superintendent Driver said he was not in a position to comment on whether Orange had sufficient police officers to adequately control crime.
“But I think police in Orange are doing a fantastic job, particularly last month when our crime figures were the lowest for three years,” he said.