Figures released by the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency show crime across the Mitchell Shire has risen by a staggering 40.6 per cent since December 2014.
In Mitchell, there was a 16.7 per cent increase in robbery and a 27 per cent increase in sexual offences between March 2016 and March 2017.
Theft increased 14.4 per cent, drug dealing and trafficking increased 55 per cent and drug use and possession increased by 29.4 per cent.
Last week, Danny Stasiak awoke to discover his tandem trailer, loaded with tools and more than $2500 worth of brand new fencing materials, had been stolen from his mother’s yard in Seymour.
‘‘I’ve been storing stuff at the same property for about 25 years and it’s never been an issue,’’ Mr Stasiak said.
‘‘It throws your whole livelihood out. You have to restructure, re-buy materials and you’re out of pocket.
‘‘There’s also the privacy issue — it throws you out feeling like people are watching you.
‘‘A neighbour saw a car four days prior to the robbery casing the place out, which scared her as well.
‘‘People in the township just have to be a bit more vigilant on who’s around and if they’re a little bit suspicious they should notify the police straight away without hesitation.’’
Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews must take immediate action to fix the wave of theft, burglaries and break-ins across the region.
‘‘The statistics show that more than 1000 people in Mitchell have been impacted by theft, burglaries and break-ins over the past year,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘Our community has been abandoned by the Premier for Melbourne while the crime rate spirals out of control.
‘‘Offenders have been emboldened by the Andrews Labor Government’s watered down bail laws and weakened sentencing.’’
Community Safety Shadow Minister Edward O’Donohue said Daniel Andrews could not fix the violent crime rate by continuing to give repeat violent offenders four, five or six chances before sending them to jail.
‘‘Until this premier starts to put the rights of innocent Victorians before the rights of violent criminals, we will not see any decline in violent crime rates,’’ Mr O’Donohue said.
‘‘Only the Liberals and The Nationals have a plan for stronger sentencing, tougher parole conditions and a return to the principle that bail is a privilege not a right for violent offenders.’’