CONCERN: Home invasions are among a number of crimes on the increase across the Coffs/Clarence region according to new Bureau of Crime statistics.
CONCERN: Home invasions are among a number of crimes on the increase across the Coffs/Clarence region according to new Bureau of Crime statistics. Debrah Novak

Crime on the rise in Coffs: report

FRAUD, shoplifting and home invasions are the fastest-growing areas of crime in Coffs Harbour.

The latest Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) report shows an alarming increase of the three offences in the past two years, including a sharp 44.5% increase in break and enters.

The number of shoplifters surged 38.8% and fraud offences in the wider Coffs-Clarence Command region jumped 16%.

But it was malicious damage to property that proved the most prolific offence during the 12 months to March this year with 1512 offences recorded in the command area.

It was followed by 854 stealing from vehicle offences and 771 home invasions.

The statistics paint an alarming picture of domestic violence, with 713 related assaults recorded by police - an average of almost two each day.

The offences with the largest decreases were malicious damage to property (1512 offences, down 76) and motor vehicle theft (241, down 67).

State-wide, 15 of the major crime categories were either stable or falling.

Data however showed an increase in reports from the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) child abuse help line.

The offence of stealing from retail stores has also been trending upwards for three successive quarters.

NSW Police commissioner Andrew Scipione said it was important to recognise how the figures linked these increases to concentrated law enforcement.

He said it was particularly relevant regarding drug- possession rates, which reflected a targeted policing approach and increased detections.

"We see time and time again the irreversible damage drugs have on individuals, their families and the wider community," he said. "We must stay strong in our resolve to keep the pressure on those who choose to perpetuate this illegal trade."

Outside major categories, increases were recorded in secondary crime areas including possession/use of cocaine (up 24.8%), amphetamines (up 25.2%) and breaches of bail conditions (up 13%).