News

We’re not safe: Ryan

By Benalla Ensign

Crime in Benalla has risen by more than 14 per cent since the last state election and the Nationals blame Labor’s ‘‘weak sentencing laws.’’

State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said the increase was revealed in new data recently released by the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency.

‘‘In the last year alone drug offences are up nearly 50 per cent, weapons and explosives offences are up by more than 40per cent, public order and security offences are up 68 per cent and theft is up nearly 16per cent,’’ Ms Ryan said.

‘‘The statistics show 249 incidents of theft, up from 215 the year before, 74 drug offences, up from 50, 106 public order offences, up from 63 and 45 weapons offences, up from 32.

‘‘That means there is an average of nearly five thefts a week in Benalla.’’

Ms Ryan said the increase in crime was not only impacting on people feeling safe in their communities, but was also causing great frustration.

‘‘People shouldn’t have to worry about their home being broken into, their possessions being stolen or their car windows being smashed,’’ Ms Ryan said.

‘‘Daniel Andrews’ weak sentencing and bail laws and inadequate police numbers are leaving people exposed.

‘‘We have announced reforms to address crime rates in Victoria if we are elected in November, including mandatory minimum sentences, more police on the beat, a public sex offenders register and tougher parole and bail laws.’’

Shadow Minister for Community Safety, Corrections and Police Ed O’Donohue said all Victorians had a clear choice to make at the upcoming state election in November.

‘‘Under Daniel Andrews, there has been an increase in home invasions, an increase in carjackings, an increase in assaults, an increase in youth gang violence and an increase in the number of his excuses,’’ Mr O’Donohue said.

‘‘Daniel Andrews can keep on spinning all he likes, but only the Liberal Nationals are offering real action.’’