Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show positive results for Mid North Coast Local Area Command

Proactive policing: Detective Chief Inspector Kim Fehon has highlighted some of the success stories in the most recent Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
Proactive policing: Detective Chief Inspector Kim Fehon has highlighted some of the success stories in the most recent Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

WEAPON possession, drug use and breaching court orders were the targets and local police are reaping the rewards for their hard work.

An intentional focus on proactive policing helped Mid North Coast Local Area Command see positive results in these key areas of reported crime.

The results were highlighted in the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) for the quarter to March 2019.

Detective Chief Inspector Kim Fehon said a concentrated effort in these key areas was seeing some good results.

"Overall we are going well," the crime manager said.

"We are always looking to do better and our focus on prevention will help drive down those serious crime figures.

"Getting weapons off the street, reducing the use of drugs and enforcing conditions put on the court will restrict the ability of criminals to commit serious offences in key areas," she said.

"We are seeing an increase in figures because police are taking a proactive approach."

The crime manager acknowledged that drug use remains an issue in the district and is often the cause for an increase in other reported crimes.

Possession and use of amphetamines figures showed an increase of 19.4 per cent over the last two years and and a 39.7 per cent increase over a five year period.

She said police had invested significant resources into this area.

"When you invest resources in categories of crime, you will see a rise in reported figures. In our case, that is a positive outcome," she said.

Police also use available legislation for firearms prohibition orders to conduct searches on people and premises.

Another area of focus is in breach of bail conditions, the crime manager said.

"Again this is a proactive approach that we take," she explained.

"When a court imposes bail conditions we have regular taskings for police to check on compliance of those bail conditions.

"That can also result in breach of bail charges. These areas are all proactive approaches taken by police."

Elsewhere, the crime manager noted the stable results for domestic violence assaults "but we are always looking to improve".

Det Chief Inspt Fehon said a review of indecent assault figures indicated the increase was in the category of indecent assault where the victim was a child and the offence was reported by a child.

"Those matters are predominately investigated by the Port Macquarie-based child abuse unit," she said.

"It should be acknowledged that while there is an increase, it is between 2018/19. There was a drop in the period prior to 2018.

"Looking across the five year figures, these are stable," she said.

"This category is concerning but we encourage people to continue reporting in this category.

"Often times these matters are reported to police via other agencies."

Good partnership

In non-domestic violence assaults (down 8.7 per cent), the crime manager praised the "good partnership" between police and the Hastings Liquor Accord.

"This has been an ongoing (downward) trend for us over 10 years and is predominately due to a fall in assaults in and around licensed premises.

"We have got some really good partnerships underway with the Hastings Liquor Accord, including multi-venue banning.

"That makes a big difference. Lockout laws and being proactive with the liquor accord all result in a drop in this category."

Motor vehicle theft was also a focus for police this year.

The five year trend shows an increase of 11.2 per cent but this figure is consistent across the northern region. The thefts also tend to be in older type vehicles.

"On a positive note, police did recently charge a person with a huge number of offences in motor vehicle theft and number plate theft.

"We believe this will see a drop in thefts."

About 50 per cent of fraud matters (up 49.7 per cent over two years and 16 per cent over five years) were for failing to pay for petrol.

"People are failing to pay at petrol service stations and these are generally small value fraud," the crime manager said.

"We have been impacted in this region by the number of service centres in operation and while we would like to see this number reduce, it is still in that small value fraud level."