Crime up 13.3 per cent in Cardinia


By Matthew Sims

Criminal offences jumped by 13.3 per cent in the year to March 2024 across Cardinia to 7641 offences, according to the latest figures from the Crime Statistics Agency (CSA).

The figures for the period from March 2023 to March 2024 highlighted a 27.5 per cent increase in theft offences recorded across the Cardinia LGA and a 21.6 per cent increase in drug dealing and trafficking offences recorded.

Pakenham topped the list of offences recorded across Cardinia with a total of 4343 offences recorded, which was a 12.2 per cent increase compared to the year to March 2023.

Significant increases included theft increasing from 1009 offences to 1319 offences (up 30.2 per cent), drug dealing and trafficking jumping from 19 to 29 offences (52.6 per cent) and weapons and explosives offences jumping from 120 to 147 offences (up 22.5 per cent).

However, a number of offence types saw a decrease in reports, including in property damage falling from 376 to 346 (down eight per cent) and robbery offences decreasing slightly from 27 to 24 offences (down 11.1 per cent).

In Officer, the number of overall offences recorded jumped by 22.4 per cent from 908 to 1111 offences recorded over the March 2023 to March 2024 period.

The number of property damage offences recorded increased by 42.6 per cent from 54 to 77 offences, while theft offences also surged from 339 to 449 offences, an increase of 32.4 per cent.

The number of offences recorded in Nar Nar Goon over the year to March 2024 fell from 70 offences to 56, representing a 20 per cent reduction.

Among the largest reductions was property damage, with only two offences recorded (down 84.6 per cent), and theft down from 12 to five offences (down 58.3 per cent).

In Kooweerup, the number of offences recorded fell slightly from 261 to 255 offences over the March 2023 to March 2024 period.

Significant shifts included theft dropping from 73 to 54 offences (down 26 per cent) and assault and related offences increasing from 24 to 35 offences (up 45.8 per cent).

In Gembrook, the number of offences recorded doubled, with offences increasing from 41 to 82 offences for the year to March 2024.

Increases included theft offences jumping from seven to 20 offences, 15 property damage offences recorded compared to last year’s five offences and nine burglary/breaking and entering offences recorded compared to a solitary offence in the year to March 2023.

In Cockatoo, 203 offences were recorded in the year to March 2024, representing a 45 per cent jump compared to the 140 offences recorded for the year to March 2023.

Theft offences doubled from 22 offences to 44 offences, while drug use and possession offences increased from five to eight offences.

The number of offences recorded in Emerald fell from 193 to 164 offences, representing a decrease of 15 per cent.

While a number of offence types saw slight decreases across the board, drug use and possession offences tripled from four offences to 12 offences.

Across the state, the number of offences increased by 7.9 per cent to 535,673 offences, with theft among the largest jumps, rising by 17 per cent to 181,665 offences.

CSA Chief Statistician Fiona Dowsley said the number of thefts from a retail store were at their highest ever, with other increases including theft from a motor vehicle and burglary offences.

“This rapid increase in crimes involving the acquisition of property may be related to cost of living pressures,” she said.

“The increase in property-related crime was largest contributor to the overall increase in crime in the last year.

“Alleged offenders being recorded for these crimes are drawn from all age groups.”