CRIME SITES: Map showing crime hot spots in the Gatton and Laidley police districts from June 2019 to May 2020.
CRIME SITES: Map showing crime hot spots in the Gatton and Laidley police districts from June 2019 to May 2020.

Why some crimes have ‘fallen off a cliff’ this year

CRIME is trending downwards across the Lockyer Valley and the results have pleased our region’s top cops.

Statistics from Queensland crime as a whole in on the downtrend, with Gatton recording a 47 per cent decrease from March to May and Laidley a 15 per cent decrease.

Property crime in particular has declined rapidly.

Gatton police recorded 42 offences of unlawful entry, theft or property damage in March, but only 12 in May.

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Officer in charge Senior Sergeant Rowland Browne said the results were pleasing.

“It’s good to see – it certainly has been coming down all the whole calendar year,” Sen-Sgt Browne said.

“And probably since the whole Covid-19 thing a lot of crime has almost dropped off a cliff.”

But he was reluctant to identify Covid-19 and the lockdowns as the sole cause for the decline.

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The jailing of recidivist offenders, changes to residents’ lifestyles and even the weather could have also played a part.

“Certainly, property crime tails off when it’s cold or wet, particularly night-time crime,” Sen-Sgt Browne said.

Crime in regional areas largely occurred in “peaks and troughs”, according to the top cop.

Laidley police also report a similar decrease in property offences, with numbers dropping from 58 in March to just 21 last month.

It hasn’t all been good news though, with assaults in the Gatton region up slightly.

But Sen-Sgt Browne said an increase in reported assaults at the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre was the main reason for the increased figures.

“Taking that out of the equation, Gatton’s assaults are all very similar if not slightly lower than last year,” he said.

“However anything like assaults is always a concern. In an ideal world we’d have zero, but in a practical world we’re never going to have zero.”

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In Gatton, crime was most likely to occur between 6am and 2pm, with Friday and Saturday the busiest days for criminals.

Laidley’s crime-time hot spot was also the 6am to 2pm slot, but criminals tended to favour Wednesdays and Saturdays for their activity.