Aussie state in midst of "worst crime wave in 40 years": Police union boss

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/10/14 10:15:46

One of Australia's most experienced crime fighters has warned that Victoria is in the grip of the worst crime wave in 40 years.

Ron Iddles, a former homicide squad detective and outgoing secretary of the Police Association of Victoria, said a shortage of police officers and "weak" judges have paved the way for the rise in aggressive crime.

"I do not think Ive seen it this bad," Iddles, who joined the police force in 1973, told News Limited on Friday.

"We have regular car-jackings, we have regular home invasions, assaults are up on our members, it's just a dangerous environment. And then you've got to add the threat of terrorism."

Iddles said the rise of the Apex gang, a youth street gang notorious for stealing cars and breaking into homes in Melbourne, was particularly concerning.

"With the youth crime and the Apex gang and all that, it is just a total lack of respect but also it becomes a competition about how they can break into houses. It becomes like a badge of honor with groups stealing cars and (competing to steal the most)," he said.

Crime Statistics Agency in July revealed that assault in Victoria was up 11.1 percent from June 2015 to June 2016, robbery was up 14.2 percent and burglary rose 12.6 percent.

Melbourne's CBD had the highest crime rate state-wide with 26,000 crimes committed per 100,000 people while the south-eastern suburbs, where the Apex gang originated, had the highest growth in crime rate, with Dandenong experiencing a 16 percent rise.

Greg Davies, commissioner of support organization Victims of Crime, said that many of the worst incidents had been committed by young people who "get a thrill" from the idea of terrorizing people and that the 5 percent of people being affected by crime was "5 percent too big."

"Just because your parents don't understand you, or the school bully stole your lunch money, doesn't give you the right to go on a rampage and burgle people's homes, leave them terrified and steal their belongings," Davies told News Limited.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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