Victoria may have recorded its biggest drop in crime in 10 years, but reports of sexual offences continue to grow.
Sexual offences have risen 15.9 per cent in the year to December 2017, the state’s Crime Statistics Agency revealed on Thursday.
Of the 8279 cases reported, 25 per cent were historical sexual offences, most likely spurred by the child abuse royal commission, while about a third were linked to family violence, Police Minister Lisa Neville said.
“It’s not surprising in the context of royal commissions that you have more people coming forward and reporting these terrible crimes, and we want to see more of that over time,” she told reporters.
Almost all sexual offences were committed by someone known to the victim. Women were the victim in more than 6500 recorded incidents.
Revenge porn – where people share sexualised images without consent – is also included in the sexual offences category, with some recent crimes linked to social media, Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.
“We are seeing people use social media for evil and not good, whether that’s in relation to how they are meeting people and committing (crimes)… or they’re using it for revenge porn,” he said.
“No one deserves to be subjected to these sorts of crimes.”
Sex crime is the only category of crime to rise in Victoria.
The total number of offences recorded by police dropped 8.6 per cent to 504,070, compared to 551,662 offences the previous year, the data showed.
Ms Neville attributed the drop in overall crime to a reduction in reported burglaries, thefts and arson.
These crimes dropped by 13.3 per cent, but still make up more than 60 per cent of all recorded criminal incidents.
Shadow Police Minister Ed O’Donohue says the statistics show Victoria is less safe than it used to be.
“Every single one of these 504,070 offences represents people whose safety and security have been violated,” he said in a statement.
CRIMINAL INCIDENTS IN VICTORIA:
- Sexual offences up 15.9 per cent
- Arson down 19.6 per cent
- Theft down 16.6 per cent
- Burglary and break and enter down 15.3 per cent
- Drug dealing and trafficking down 12.6 per cent
- Abduction down 12.1 per cent
This post originally appeared on 9news