Family violence breaches at record high


By Laura Michell

Reports of family violence order breaches are at the highest level on record in Whittlesea and Hume, latest crime statistics reveal.

Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) data shows there were 2042 breaches of family violence orders recorded in Hume between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020 – an increase of 20 per cent on the previous 12 months.

In Whittlesea, 1616 breaches were reported to police, up 2 per cent.

According to CSA, the number of breaches reported in both municipalities is at the highest since record-keeping began in 2011.

In March 2011, 545 family violence order breaches were recorded in Hume, while 272 were reported in Whittlesea, the agency’s data shows.

Overall, there were 4112 family violence incidents reported to police in Hume between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, while 3253 reports were made in Whittlesea during the same period.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said the rise in family violence reporting was a “vote of confidence” in how police were dealing with the issue.

“From a Victoria Police perspective, whilst it is disturbing that we have any breach of any intervention order at all, the fact that we are now having the public confidence in reporting – they’re coming to us – and that we are acting on those reports, that’s what we wanted to see,” he said.

The overall crime rate in Whittlesea rose by 3.9 per cent in the 12 months to March 31, 2020, with 16, 625 offences recorded, according to the CSA.

Hume’s crime rate rose by just 1.9 per cent during the same period, with 21,588 offences reported.

Thefts from motor vehicles were the most frequently committed crime in both municipalities, according to the CSA, with 1998 offences recorded in Whittlesea – an increase of 17.5 per cent on the previous year.

Hume police recorded 2504 thefts from motor vehicles, an increase of 3.5 per cent.

“Other theft”, breaches of family violence orders and criminal damage were also among the five most frequently recorded crimes in both municipalities.

Motor vehicles thefts rounded out the top five in Hume while obtaining benefits by deception was one of the most frequently reported crimes in Whittlesea.