Police have released new figures on Queensland crime rates. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Police have released new figures on Queensland crime rates. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

Where the worst crime spots really are

IF you go out to regional Queensland, residents say it's still safe to leave the front door unlocked. Some say there is no crime.

Head into built up city areas and the feeling quickly changes, with the perception crime is soaring. But is it?

New figures show violent crime offences against people increased by five per cent in Queensland in the past year.

Robbery offences increased by 20 per cent over the past year, assaults by five per cent and sex offences two per cent, according to the number of reported offences to the Queensland Police Service.

The preliminary annual figures show personal crime offences increased by 5.5 per cent.

Despite the spike, the number of murders, attempted murders and manslaughters decreased over the year.

Police have released new figures on Queensland crime rates. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Police have released new figures on Queensland crime rates. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

Property crime offences increased over the year by about 5.5 per cent.

This includes break-in offences which increased by three per cent.

"Other theft", which includes stolen cars and other stealing offences, increased by 10 per cent.

The number of reported fraud offences decreased by 4.5 per cent.

"Other offences", which includes drug, liquor, good order, weapons and traffic offices decreased by about five per cent.

The number of domestic violence order protection breaches increased by two per cent over the year. But the number of these offences have increased 81 per cent since 2013-14 after changes were made to legislation.

Drug offences dropped five per cent over the year, with about 80,000 offences reported.

Bond University associate professor of criminology and former Queensland detective Terry Goldsworthy said overall there had been about a 1 per cent decrease in the reported crime rate.

Dr Terry Goldsworthy. Picture: Richard Gosling
Dr Terry Goldsworthy. Picture: Richard Gosling

But he said the statistics were not positive for the QPS and that in the past an increase in "other offences" had been touted as "proactive policing".

There had been a restructure of regions and redundancies of high-ranking officers, in the past five years.

"If you line that up with the restructure … we've had no great outcomes in regards to policing in Queensland, when looking at crime rates," Mr Goldsworthy said.

Mr Goldsworthy said if there was increasing property and personal crime then the figures should show increased crime enforcement.

"If you are seeing increases in the drug markets then you would need to see an increase in enforcement in that area (but there isn't an increase)," he said.

"We know property crime is linked to drug crime.

"If you are looking at personal crime, robberies and assaults are through the roof."

Mr Goldsworthy said the Northern region was "far and above" the Queensland crime rate for offences against the person and property, while the Southeastern region was above for offences against property.

Brisbane, Central and Southern had less increases, he said.

"When you look at other offences which is indicative of police effort, Northern is well and truly above the state average," Mr Goldsworthy said.

"The rate of other offences is 7368 for them, they are doing a lot of enforcement up there in that regard.

"When you look at Southeastern we are beneath the state average for other offences which is an interesting contrast.

"The two I'd be worried about looking at the crime rate, certainly on a very basic level, it would be Northern and Southeastern.

"If you were in Southeastern region you would want to know why the rate of other offences is down so much."

Mr Goldsworthy said police may not need as many telephone intercepts for lower-scale drug investigations. Technology had a role to play but should not be at the expense of basic policing. He also questioned police involvement in "pre-crime", where officers were putting effort into consorting offences, for people with previous criminal convictions, rather than potential criminals.

Mr Goldsworthy said while more officers would always help reduce the crime rate, Queensland wasn't at panic level in terms of officer numbers.



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