Community & Business

12 December, 2023

Crime rates drop

CRIME has fallen by 23% in Mareeba and 12% in Atherton over the past year, with some criminal offences dropping by as much as 60%.

By Robyn Holmes

Crime rates drop - feature photo

Statistics from the Queensland Police online crime map show that Mareeba recorded a total of 1783 offences during the past 12 months compared to 2049 last year, a drop of 13%.

Atherton recorded 1015 offences this year compared to 1153 in 2022.

Most pleasing was the dramatic drop in the theft of vehicles, with only 45 stolen in Mareeba this year compared to 79 in 2022, representing a 44% decrease, while Atherton recorded a 61% drop in vehicles stolen, with only 21 taken.

Property damage and unlawful entry into homes and businesses also fell by more than 30% in Mareeba.

Assaults are also well down in Mareeba, dropping by 31%.

Tablelands Acting Inspector Kyell Palmer said the drop in offences across the region was a great result for the community.

“The reduction in offences can’t be attributed to one single factor but a combination of things,” he said.

“We have several agencies, both government and non-government sectors, in both Atherton and Mareeba, working together to address the underlying issues of crime and this has helped with this reduction.

“The Mareeba PCYC has several programs and activities targeted to reduce youth crime and improve outcomes for young people.”

Another important initiative was Operation Unison, which is being conducted across the State including the Tablelands.

“This has provided the opportunity for local police to prevent and disrupt crime through activities such as bail checks, high visibility patrols and licensed premises walkthroughs,” Acting Inspector Palmer said.

“This has no doubt resulted in the increase in the good order offences, where police have been able to intervene early and take the necessary action to disrupt that offender from engaging in more serious offences at a later stage.”

But while crime has reduced, police do not want people to become complacent.

“As we enter the summer holiday period, we do typically see a rise in home break-ins, thefts, and property crime,” Acting Inspector Palmer said.

“Community safety is our priority, and we know being a victim of crime can have impacts on people’s wellbeing, particularly over the holidays.

“We are therefore asking the community to work with us to prevent this inevitable spike.”

He explained that one in three break-ins were opportunistic crimes involving thieves entering through unlocked doors or windows of both houses and vehicles.

“Therefore, before heading off on holidays, make sure secure, including your garage door,” Acting Inspector Palmer said

“I’d also encourage residents to go through the QPS Home Security Guide on the QPS website and review your security plan.

“While we know some basic security measures won’t stop all offences, it will be enough to prevent the vast majority of would-be thieves.”

Mareeba Mayor Angela Toppin welcomed the latest figures, describing them as “encouraging”

“I think the reduction in crime can largely be attributed to the ‘Mareeba Collaborating for Community Safety’ network which focusses on improving co-ordination between agencies, pooling resources to fill gaps, especially for night-time diversionary programs and identifying other gaps and finding collaborative solutions,” Mayor Toppin said.

“The Queensland Police Service and council are part of this network, and I think the collaborative approach and the consistency of service has a positive impact on crime in our area.

“I believe this is a step in the right direction and I would like to thank all the agencies on the hard work they are doing in our community.

“It is my hope in 2024 that, as a community, we continue to focus on solutions, on positive change and on long-term outcomes that benefit everyone.” 


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