Overall crime rate nosedives as SAPOL dog helps uncover more than $120,000 in cash and stolen goods

Friday 06 November, 2020

The safety and security of South Australia continues to be cemented by the Marshall Liberal Government with a whopping decrease in overall crime, equating to almost 15,000 fewer offences in comparison to the same period under the previous Labor Government.

Labor’s inability to handle law breaking is showcased in SAPOL’s September crime statistics, which reveal an extra 14,832 offences were committed on their watch during the same 12-month period a decade ago.

Since March 2018, the Marshall Liberal Government has worked swiftly to reverse Labor’s damage, injecting more than $80 million to bolster state security since our election – a commitment that will be further increased in Tuesday’s State Budget to maintain a safe and strong South Australia.

“The massive 11.9% drop in the overall crime trend follows the Marshall Government’s pre-budget announcement of historic funding worth more than $800,000 for Crime Stoppers,” Minister for Police Vincent Tarzia said.

“The funding is another example of the Marshall Liberal Government’s dedication to keep South Australia safe and strong.

“Future-proofing Crime Stoppers is another initiative that will help lower crime levels further in South Australia, starting at the ground roots level where it matters to community most. And we’re just getting started.”

Today’s figures show a 58% fall in Common Assault offences, and a 25% drop each for Serious Criminal Trespass crimes against residences and Other Offences Against the Person.

Offences against Person and Property dived significantly again, this time by 6% – or 7,332 crimes – while a downward trend continued for Serious Criminal Trespass with a 14% dip.

Total Offences Against Property decreased by 8%, as did Theft and Related Offences. A 10% drop was seen in Theft from Motor Vehicles, and Fraud/Deception and Related Offences. Other Theft offences decreased by 9%.

Legislative and system changes have significantly varied the way some offences are recorded, which has contributed to a modest rise in some categories, including a slight 3% increase in Total Offences against the Person. This does not accurately reflect an increase in offending.

Last week, SAPOL’s Dog Operations Unit was boosted by the addition of two newly graduated German Shepherds – PD Judge and PD Rusty. Labrador Retriever PD Orbit also graduated after completing an 8-week firearms and explosives course.

Police dogs are a vital tool for officers in numerous situations because of their sharp instincts and acute sense of smell.

Recently in Port Augusta, a police dog helped detectives search several houses and located a large quantity of stolen power tools, mining tools and generators worth about $60,000. A man was arrested and charged with theft and possession of controlled drugs.

Another man was reported for unlawful possession of $61,680 in cash.

“Through many of its specialist capabilities like the Dog Operations Unit, SAPOL tackles crime on multiple fronts,” Minister Tariza said.

“The addition of the well-trained dogs has strengthened SAPOL’s ability to proactively protect the community. The dogs can track suspects, apprehend criminals, search for missing people and sniff out a variety of items that can lead to arrest.”