Police focus on spate of car thefts as latest crime statistics are released

Stopping a spate of vehicle thefts has become the current focus for police.

Canobolas Local Area Commander Superintendent Shane Cribb said it was one of several areas where police were concentrating around Orange.

“Right now we have a spate of motor vehicle thefts,” he said.

“We are working very strongly in that area.

“We will still have people who leave their keys in their cars.

“We would urge people to ensure they don’t leave their keys in cars.”

The number of motor vehicles stolen in the Orange local government area rose from 96 in the 12 months to June 2016 to 137 in the year to June 2017, according to the latest Bureau of Crimes Statistics and Research [BOCSAR] figures.

They identified six areas where crime in Orange was at least twice the state average allowing for the number of residents in the area.

It found the rates of indecent assault, robbery without a weapon, breaking and entering dwellings and non-dwellings and shoplifting were higher in Orange.

The rate of robbery with a weapon that was not a firearm was three times higher in Orange than in NSW.

Superintendent Cribb said Canobolas LAC police had been actively working with major stores in Orange to reduce theft from shops.

“We have pro-actively targeted people. We are working in with the major shops.”

He said covert operations had led to high arrest rates.

The number of reported incidents of shoplifting rose from 278 to 337 from 2016 to 2017.

The BOCSAR figures also showed that the amount of malicious damage to property incidents rose from 511 to 623 in the year.

He said they included property fires and some cases related to domestic disputes.

However, he said police figures showed there had been a “significant decline” in malicious damage to property from January-August this year.

Superintendent Cribb said police were concerned about the number of indecent assaults.

“That’s a category we are re-active to. It’s an education issue.”

Superintendent Cribb said the number of robberies were related to “soft targets.”

He said there were no major events such as bank robberies.

Instead most of the incidents related to robberies of delivery drivers and young people being robbed of their mobile phones.