Home strife drives up Monash assault stats

VIOLENT crime and sexual assault have been on the rise in Monash but robbery and home burglary have steadily fallen, according to new data released by Victoria Police.

New police figures show that in 2011-12 the number of reported assaults, including family violence, rose about 40 per cent and the number of sex crimes about 38 per cent.

The raw statistics showed that in Monash there were 644 assaults — up about 40 per cent from 462.

Drug crime has also spiked with about a 19 per cent increase since the previous financial year, bringing total offences to 203.

But robberies fell about 27 per cent to 92 cases and home burglary dropped about 20 per cent to 804, bringing the total number of crimes in the city to 8121 - about a 4 per cent rise since 2010-11.

Monash's Inspector Graham Sprague said assault was an issue that police in the area were trying to address.

Assaults were categorised by their location. Inspector Sprague said that in 2011-12, assaults in streets, lanes and footpaths had only a small increase compared with places like boarding houses.

"We're not looking at a major increase in community areas as such," he said.

Senior Sergeant Diane Wilson of the Glen Waverley police said the rise in statistics could be attributed to increased reporting of family violence.

"There's been a proactive push for more people to feel safe to come forward to report domestic violence," she said.

The latest crime statistics also show a rise in the number of sexual crimes in Monash. Raw figures show that in Monash in 2011-12, there were:

■ 153 sexual assaults — up about 38 per cent from 111.

■ 34 rapes — up from 20 cases.

"The actual offences may have occurred quite some time ago but we're now capturing them," Inspector Sprague said.

"We've got a unit who are concentrating in that area and are actually looking to establish a proper picture of what's taken place."

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