Fraud is on the rise across the board and Lithgow is no exception.
Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) figures show that in the 12 months to March 2017 fraud crimes experienced a large spike up to 152 from 89 in the previous 12 month period.
Detective Chief Inspector Luke Rankin last month commented on spikes in fraud, which he said were due to ever-increasing reports of Paywave or point-of-sale incidents and internet scams.
“Unfortunately we continue to see members of the community falling victim to scams perpetrated through the internet - for instance, people responding to phishing emails or paying bogus fines or invoices,” he said.
Detective Inspector Rankin urged people to protect themselves by looking at the ACCC Scamwatch website and being informed on how overseas crooks were trying to access people’s money.
Most of the other crime categories were stable or showed modest falls.
In a positive sign, break and enter (non-dwelling) fell from 86 to 69. Break and enter dwelling incidents were slightly up from 127 to 133.
Break and enters of the non-dwelling variety were close to three times the state average in 2016 but dropped to just over double the state average in the 12 months to March.
Detective Inspector Rankin said five year trends for break and enter non-dwelling incidents for the Lithgow area were stable.
“Unfortunately we do endure spates in this crime category in the Lithgow area - we can have stable figures for a few months (with only a handful of reports) and then have ten in one night,” he said.
He encouraged all businesses to be security aware.
“Have good lighting, an alarm and CCTV systems - these will deter most offenders, but not all of them,” he said.
Detective Inspector Rankin said police used two main strategies to respond to spates of offences.
“Firstly we analyse reports and ensure that our police are deployed to deter as much crime as possible. Secondly we investigate the reported incidents and act rapidly upon any evidence we can,” he said.
“We have a good track record of effectively responding to spates of offences and bringing them under control - usually by arresting offenders.”
The number of robberies fell with steal from retail store incidents down from 54 to 38, steal from dwelling down from 100 to 85 and steal from person down from 13 to eight.