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By Casey Neill

Greater Dandenong has again ranked in the state’s top five crime hot spots.
The Crime Statistics Agency released figures for the year ending 31 December on Thursday 16 March.
Greater Dandenong came in fifth – after Melbourne, Latrobe, Yarra and Horsham – for the highest offence rate per 100,000 residents, with 13,332.
This figure was up 3.4 per cent, but rose 8.1 per cent across the state.
Offences in the police service area (PSA) rose by 5.6 per cent from 19,689 to 20,787.
But the state rise was 10.2 per cent, and Greater Dandenong Inspector Mark Langhorn told the Keysborough South Crime Forum on Thursday 16 March that “crime stats for Greater Dandenong in general are on the improve”.
He said family violence featured prominently in the statistics and crime “on the streets” was actually reducing.
Insp Langhorn said police were proactively tackling crime through initiatives such as Coffee with a Cop at Parkmore Shopping Centre, the drug-focused Divisional Tasking Unit and the Frontline Tactical Unit.
“They’re not responding to triple zero,” he said, “they’re looking for problems.”
Assault figures for the PSA were up 19.6 per cent for the 12 months to 31 December last year when compared to the previous year. The state increase was 11.8 per cent.
Robbery in Greater Dandenong was up 27.7 per cent, in line with the state’s 24.4 per cent jump.
The burglary/break and enter increase was 26.4 per cent, more than double Victoria’s 10.1 per cent rise.
Dangerous and negligent acts endangering people increased by 62.9 per cent in Greater Dandenong, from 170 offences to 277. The state rate also jumped, by 22.3 per cent.
Arson dropped by 16.2 per cent, from 117 offences to 98.
Drug dealing, trafficking, and manufacturing offences dropped by about 25 per cent in Greater Dandenong, compared to a slight rise for Victoria.

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