A Decade of Changes – Three Growing Crimes in Perth

Drug offences are increasing in Perth. What other crimes are on the rise?

The WA Police’s Crime Time Series points out an overall decline in crime in Perth since 2017. However, some crimes are on the rise.

As members of the legal system as well as members of the community, we at Lawson Legal have a vested interest in criminal activities in and around Perth.

Frequently, we hear questions about the local crime statistics as well as what sorts of crimes we see on the rise in our area.

Due to the fact that there are several hundred separate suburbs in the Perth vicinity, many of the crime statistics vary based on the area we view. Therefore, we will look at a general overview as opposed to specific suburbs.

When looking at crime statistics, it is easy to adopt a negative posture. However, all of the news is not bad. The WA Police’s Crime Time Series points out an overall decline in crime in the region since 2017.

WHAT CRIMES ARE ON THE RISE?

The data compiled over a ten-year period point towards several strong trends when looking at an increase of specific types of crimes in the region. The most significant increases in crime were the following:

1.) Domestic Violence

The incidences of domestic violence grew at such a rate that it more than tripled in the past decade. Although this information is initially alarming, Domestic Violence Council WA chairperson Anne Moore believes it is important to look at more than just numbers when citing this statistic.

Ms Moore explains that the stigma of reporting domestic violence is no longer as great as in the past. An increase in the social awareness that the behaviour is unacceptable also increases the number of reported cases. More options to assist and protect those reporting domestic violence also give victims the ability to overcome fear associated with reporting the crime.

Ms Moore stresses that the action of domestic is not suddenly new, but that it is an occurrence typically hidden, dismissed as normal behaviour, and not reported to authorities. She feels that increasing awareness and avenues of assistance can make a significant impact on an overall reduction in cases of domestic violence.

Additionally, changes made to the way police respond to domestic violence can help victims face the issue. Police Minister Michelle Roberts’ office spokesperson explained that resources are in place that will offer better support to the victims of domestic violence.

2.) Sexual Offences

The instance of sexual offences increased between 60 to 80 per cent depending on the location reporting. As seen with domestic violence, the marked increase includes an increase of victims coming forward to report the crime. Western Australia divides sexual offences into two categories defined as,

• Sexual Assault-Non-consensual physical contact or intent to initiate physical contact of a sexual nature
• Non-assaultive sexual offences- Offences including eliciting prostitution, willful exposure, child pornography, procuring for prostitution

3.) Drug Offences

The correlation between many crimes and the instance of drug use is easy to spot. The documentation of the ice epidemic and the resulting blight it brings to families and communities shows the degree of the problem in the past. Statistics show that drug offences doubled in Perth and its vicinity over the past ten years.

The state and local governments are seeing small victories as the battle to free Perth from the grip of meth. Wastewater testing indicates the lowest levels of methamphetamines since the testing program began in 2016.

While the trends regarding crime in the Perth area are not what any citizen would like to see, the positive and proactive responses from those in power is an encouragement. If you find yourself in legal trouble, do not hesitate to contact Lawson Legal.

We are here to help.

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