Drug and traffic offences on the rise in Gladstone region
UPDATE: Drug and traffic offences have been on the rise in the Gladstone region in the past year.
Offences against the person, robbery, stalking and traffic offences were also found to have increased in the Central region between the 2010/11 to 2011/12 period.
Despite ongoing national campaigns and local operations, local police were dismayed that 673 drink-drivers, 258 disqualified drivers and 973 other serious traffic offences were detected within the Gladstone District over the 12-month period.
District Superintendent Glenn Kachel said police, as part of an overall enforcement strategy, would continue to focus on traffic matters in the Gladstone district.
"Drink-driving is a serious matter which can all too easily result in a tragic outcome," he said.
"Police will continue to focus on traffic matters as a district priority."
A total of 1535 drug offences from possession of a drug to trafficking were recorded in the Gladstone district.
One homicide statistic was recorded in Gladstone in the past 12 months, but that didn't stop the Central region seeing the largest reduction in homicides in Queensland, down 86%.
A total of 293 assaults and 624 sexual assaults were also recorded, with 2502 offences against property and 369 incidents of stealing from vehicles also found.
This comes in light of the district-wide 'Lock it or Lose it' campaign aimed to educate the community about property security.
"No one deserves to become a victim of crime but we all need to take a degree of responsibility by making it difficult for offenders to access your property," Superintendent Kachel said.
EARLIER: The Central region has recorded the largest decrease in murder offences in the state, according to the latest crime statistics released yesterday.
Some of the worst crimes, such as murder and rape, have gone down statewide in the 2011-12 financial year.
However, across the state car thefts, break-ins, armed robberies and assaults significantly contributed to crime rates in Queensland jumping 6% in the past year, bucking a decade of annual crime decreases.
The number of murders dropped from 52 to 42 last year, while sexual and fraud matters fell 9%.
But there has been a 12% increase in armed robbery offences, which police say could be helped by the imminent gun amnesty, and a 24% increase in arson offences.
In the Central region offences against the person were up 4%, assault was up 3% and serious assault was up 12%.
Sexual offences were down 5% but stalking was up 24%.
Robbery was up 36%, from 20.3 offences per 100,000 people to 27.5 offences.
Homicide decreased 86% from 1.8 offences per 100,000 to 0.3
Offences against property increased 3%, drug offences increased 5% and traffic and related offences were up 7%.
In Gladstone, reported offences included one murder, 293 assault, 26 grievous assault, 110 serious assault, 28 serious assault (other) and 120 common assault.
There also were 64 sexual offences reported, 14 rape and attempted rape, 50 other sexual offences and seven stalking offences.
There were 542 reports of unlawful entry, 104 stealing from dwellings, 105 shop stealing and 369 stealing from vehicles/enter with intent.
A total of 2502 offences against property were reported.
Outgoing Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson said that apart from a slight increase last year, crime had been decreasing for 12 to 15 years, noting there was still a 17% crime decrease over the past decade.
He described this significant increase in the annual statistical review of crime and police clear-up rates on the eve of his retirement as "disappointing" and "concerning".
Mr Atkinson said the financial hardship through the current economic situation could be a potential contributor, but noted drugs were usually behind robberies, and car thefts for joyrides were "a phenomena all of its own".
Under a new initiative, the Queensland community can now view the state's month-by-month crime statistics for the past 15 years at mypolice.qld.gov.au/data.