Hundreds impacted by theft and burglaries across Benalla
21 June 2017
Wednesday 21 June 2017
Daniel Andrews must take action to fix the wave of theft, burglaries and break-ins across Benalla Rural City, Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said today.
New figures released by the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency yesterday show crime across Benalla has risen by a staggering 15.52 per cent since in just two and a half years.
“The statistics show that more than 600 people in Benalla have been impacted by theft, burglaries and break-ins over the past year,” Ms Ryan said.
“Our community has been abandoned by the Premier for Melbourne while the crime rate spirals out of control.
“Offenders have been emboldened by the Andrews Labor Government’s watered-down bail laws and weakened sentencing.”
In Benalla, there was a 12.5 per cent increase in theft and a 16.7 per cent increase in weapons offences between March 2016 and March 2017.
Sexual offences almost doubled while the number of drug dealing and trafficking increased by 55.6 per cent over the same period.
Benalla resident Kelly McLeod said the increase in crime had emotional and financial consequences for those who found themselves victims of criminal behaviour.
Earlier this month a speeding driver slammed into Ms McLeod’s parked car, hitting it so hard it pushed it roughly 20 metres and onto the nature strip.
Ms McLeod said the car was her partner’s means of transport to and from his full time job in Shepparton.
“We are no longer in the same situation as what we where when we took the loan out for the car to begin with for the simple fact that we know have two kids under two and I am no longer working full time,” Ms McLeod said.
“We still owe money on the car so not only do we not have a car but we still have to continue to pay for it which has really put a strain on our family.
“I'm even having to go back to work another day just to try and cover cost instead of being at home with our two children all because of some idiot who decided to go for a joyride.”
Ms Ryan said the evidence was also in local police reports which regularly listed incidents such as home and car break-ins.
“Cars and houses alike have been broken into with precious items stolen and property destroyed from iPads and GPS devices to tools and credit cards,” Ms Ryan said.
“These crimes result in both the loss of materials items and trauma for victims.”
Shadow Minister for Community Safety Edward O’Donohue said Daniel Andrews can’t fix the violent crime rate by continuing to give repeat violent offenders four, five or six chances before sending them to jail.
“Until this Premier starts to put the rights of innocent Victorians before the rights of violent criminals, we will not see any decline in violent crime rates,” Mr O’Donohue said.
“Only the Liberals and The Nationals have a plan for stronger sentencing, tougher parole conditions and a return to the principle that bail is a privilege not a right for violent offenders.”