Senior Sergeant Michael McGarry. Photo: Mike Knott
Senior Sergeant Michael McGarry. Photo: Mike Knott

REVEALED:The offence at the lowest rate in over two decades

AFTER weeks of driving restrictions and stay-at-home orders, the Wide Bay Burnett has had a significant drop in some types of crime.

Most notably, drink-driving offences in April were the lowest they had been in more than two decades, with 74 offences in the region.

This was down 15 cases compared to March and a fall of more than 50 per cent compared to January.

Previously, the lowest number of drink-driving offences in a month was in February 2015 when there were 82 offences.

On March 16, QPS suspended static (multi-vehicle) roadside breath and drug tests to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission but increased random and targeted breath and drug testing through high-visibility mobile patrols.

Bundaberg Police Senior Sergeant Michael McGarry said the drop in drink driving was a result of a few things, including "a decline of road users due to coronavirus restrictions, police having a high-visibility presence based on intelligence, and the public heeding the road safety message about drink driving."

As for a drop in property crime, Sen-Sgt McGarry said originally they weren't sure whether Covid-19 was going to cause an increase.

"We knew people losing their jobs and being in hardship had the potential to increase crime, but again due to a variety of reasons property offences were down," he said.

"Bundaberg Police has been using a variety of investigative methods to get quick results, including using public help to identify offenders promptly.

"People are taking on crime-prevention messages and the public are locking their cars and houses and keeping valuables out of view.

"We are also putting pressure on the known offenders that we are aware of."

Despite the decrease in some crimes, Sen-Sgt McGarry said now was not the time to get complacent and the public should be vigilant in locking doors, cars and windows, and consider security options.

Unlawful entry fell from 171 cases in March to 99 cases in April.

Other theft offences, excluding unlawful entry, also had a big decrease in April.

In March the number of offences was 437, whereas in April there were 319.

As for other types of crime, there was a big drop in the number of assaults, with 127 offences in March and 71 in April.

While the number of robberies committed in the Wide Bay Burnett has fluctuated, there was still a small reduction in offences in April.

In March there were eight robbery-related offences compared to three in April.

Drug offences also fluctuated each month and were slightly down in April, while fraud was slightly up in April.

There was little difference in domestic violence breaches, with 199 in March and 196 in April.