Tweed and Ballina were the safest places to live on the north coast last year, with crimes committed either at or below the state average in almost all areas.
In fact the latest figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) suggest that crime is down across the north coast. But in many cases the drop isn’t by much.
And Lismore and Byron still have stubbornly high incidents of violence and sexual assault.
The Richmond-Tweed region reported an increase in domestic violence to 1,075 cases in the year to December last year, compared to 881 the previous year.
Non domestic violence was down marginally to 1,188 incidents from 1,216 in 2014.
Sexual assault was up slightly 203 (from 199) while other categories of sexual offences saw a slight drop to 234 (from 255).
Alarmingly, murders increased from 0 in 2014 to six across the region last year.
In other categories of crime, stealing from a motor vehicle (1,227) and malicious damage (2,354) both saw noticeable increases (from 1,171 and 2,107 respectively), while fraud saw a slight drop to 1,026 from 1,087.
In Byron shire non-domestic violence remains high at 1.8 times the state average and sexual assault at 1.4. Concerningly, you are 2.5 times more likely to have something stolen from you in Byron than the state average.
In Lismore non-domestic violence (1.7 times), sexual assault (1.8 times) and indecent assault (1.7 times) were also well above the state average.
Nationals Tweed MP Geoff Provest seized on the good figures in the Tweed LGA to issue a media release congratulating the police.
‘I credit these results to the appointment of our new Superintendent Wayne Starling and the proactive work of our local police and their efforts to investigate and prosecute crime across our community,’ Mr Provest said.
But he said BOCSAR had again identified increases in prohibited drug possession throughout NSW, including a 30.6 percent increase in amphetamine possession and a 35.9 percent increase in cocaine possession.
‘The secondary crime statistics relating to drug possession remain a concern and highlights the need for the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government to continue to implement our targeted plan to stamp out drugs and support affected communities,’ Mr Provest said.
‘Data relating to drug possession showcases the success of the NSW Police Force to find drugs in our communities, hold dealers to account and deter further use.
‘The NSW Government is committed to providing our local police with the resources they need to protect the community and today’s report showcases this success,’ he said.