Australia World

Victoria police blame social media, negative reporting for stoking fear in community

VICTORIA: Victorian police has blamed social media and negative reporting for instilling fear in the community despite no change in crimes rates.

The Crime Statistics Agency released statistics about crimes which show the rate of reported crime has remained unchanged while the number of reported offences has risen by 0.5 per cent.

Over the 12 months, police processed 178,731 offenders — the highest ever recorded — while the total number of victims was the lowest since the records began in 2004.

Break-and-enter offences were down by almost 14 per cent, while serious injuries from assaults also dropped 4.5 per cent.

According to Deputy Commissioner, Shane Patton police were proactively working net criminals but there was a need to work hard to change perceptions in the community.

“In this current era where we have social media and everything, and everyone is being hammered with negative reporting, I would say that’s what the crime statistics here are for,” he said.

“They show what is actually happening on the ground.”

Patton said the figures showed police were arresting more people, resulting in a drop in high-harm crime.

Combating family violence had been a particular focus over the past year and that was reflected in the high number of call-outs, he said.

“We’ve seen police attend just in excess of 81,000 family violence incidents, that is an amazing amount of family violence incidents to be attending,” he said.

“We don’t want to be attending one — let’s get that right — family violence we are trying to stamp out but we know it is a huge issue in society.