Labor’s lockdowns push family violence, drug offences to record high

Data today from the independent Crime Statistics Agency has confirmed that family violence and drug offending has reached an all-time high as Victorians struggled through 12 months of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.  

Today’s figures have confirmed a deeply concerning 11.3 per cent increase in total family violence-related offences over the 12 months to March 2021. This means more than 31 additional family violence offences occurred each and every day over this period as Victorians households have struggled through protracted lockdowns and extreme economic, social and mental health stresses.   

Furthermore, today’s data has highlighted a record level of drug crime with a total of 39,946 offences recorded over the reporting period. This represents an increase of 17.55 per cent over the last 12 months and more than 48 per cent under the Andrews Labor Government.

Figures also revealed significant increases in specific offence categories over the 12 months to March 2021, including;

  • Family violence-related common assault up 5.9 per cent  
  • Family violence stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour up 7.7 per cent
  • Family violence-related breaches of orders up 18.4 per cent
  • Family violence weapons and explosives offences up 18.1 per cent
  • Drug use and possession up 17.4 per cent
  • Drug dealing and trafficking up 10.6 per cent
  • Process drug manufacturing equipment or precursor up 104 per cent

Up to 1,200 frontline police redeployed into hotel quarantine that spent longer offline than operational during this period has meant fewer police available in local communities to prevent crime and respond to calls for assistance.  

It is now clear community safety has become yet another casualty of Labor’s failed COVID-19 response and our state desperately needs a new plan to get frontline police back in local communities to keep Victorians safe.  

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Crime Prevention, David Southwick:

“Today confirms Victorians’ worst fears, that Labor’s lockdowns have driven family violence and drug crime to record highs.

“With frontline police spending so much of the year babysitting empty hotels, it’s little wonder serious offending has spiked and fewer victims are getting the support they desperately need.

“Labor’s failed COVID-19 response has taken family violence from bad to worse and we need a new plan to reverse this trend and keep our most vulnerable safe in their homes.”

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