Footy wag Bec Judd’s fears of a ‘crimewave’ in her well-to-do suburb have been shot down in flames by crime statistics released by Victoria Police.
Judd last month Judd caused a media storm when she claimed Dan Andrews’ government didn’t ‘seem to care’ about the ‘rapes, bashings and home invasions at the hands of the gangs in Bayside’.
On Thursday, the latest crime statistics showed crime in Victoria had dropped to 470,405 reported criminal offences – down 11. 5 percent.
Bec Judd (pictured) kickstarted a celebrity-led campaign against escalating violent crime making her suburb unsafe
The mean streets of leafy Brighton remain a safe place to live, statistics show
A horde of youths prowl the streets of Brighton
In Bayside – the Melbourne municipality which includes Judd’s homeland of Brighton – actual offences dropped by 807 from 5,212 in 2021 to 4,405 at the end of March this year.
Bayside had the second lowest number of criminal offences recorded of any suburb across metropolitan Melbourne.
Bayside’s decline in offences is also the lowest since 2015, when crime ‘soared’ to 4,315 offences.
Further west, in Brimbank, crime there dropped to 16,389 offences while Hume – just a tad north – fell from 20,031 offences to a paltry 17,870.
Judd, who said she felt ‘unsafe’ in her $7.3million mansion, reported her fears after one of her neighbours’ was involved in a terrifying home invasion.
‘I personally know two women who have experienced home invasions in Brighton in the last few weeks while they were at home,’ she wrote on Instagram.
Bec Judd’s cry for help went viral
Bec Judd’s fears of an increase in crime are not represented in the latest stats
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews had a crack at Judd following her social media outburst
She reposted CCTV footage of a group of young men lurking outside properties in her affluent suburb and claimed it made her feel ‘unsafe’.
The teenagers, who were allegedly armed with knives, were filmed lurking outside several properties in the Bayside area before crashing a stolen BMW into a tree.
The fashionista’s public cry for help is perhaps explained by the latest crime statistics, which reveals her neighbours made more reports to police during Melbourne’s 2020 lockdowns than any other time over the past decade.
While Melburnians spent much of the year locked-up or living under harsh Covid-19 restrictions, Bayside residents were busy phoning police.
Crime reports soared in 2020 to 2986 – up 513 reports from 2,473 the year earlier when lockdowns weren’t in place.
In Brimbank – where the population is 201,608 compared to 105,580 in Bayside, crime reports climbed by just 176 over the same period.
Victoria Police spokesman Joel O’Dwyer told Daily Mail Australia Bayside was one of the safest places to live in the entire state.
‘While we have seen a number of serious incidents recently, Bayside remains an overwhelming safe place to live,’ he said.
‘In the twelve months to March this year, Bayside experienced a 15.5 per cent decrease in overall crime.’
However, the latest statistics reveal Judd has some cause for concern when it comes to burglaries, which climbed from 383 to 432.
When compared to pre-pandemic levels this was still significantly down.
Figures show there were 232 less homes broken into last year than in 2020, 162 less than in 2019, and 239 less than in 2018.
BAYSIDE CRIME AT A GLANCE
Over the last five years, there have been only 12 home invasion offences in the Bayside area, with only three recorded in the year ending March 2022 indicating it is an extremely rare offence in the area
By comparison, suburbs which have recorded higher number of home invasions are seeing approximately 20 – 30 home invasions occurring each year
Bayside ranks the 14th highest LGA for aggravated burglaries, with 97 residential aggravated burglaries occurring in the year ending March 2022
These numbers are a slight increase of eight offences compared to the previous year, however similar to state-wide levels, when compared with the year ending March 2020, we can see a significant decrease of 10 per cent.
Put simply, there were still less aggravated burglaries in the Bayside area than pre-pandemic
Police note aggravated burglaries were more likely to occur during the pandemic as more people were home for longer
The number of assaults in the Bayside area is very low, with 56 serious non-family violence assaults in the year ending March 2022, which is well over 600 less than the top ranking suburb.
Bayside ranks as 43rd in the list of top Local Government Areas for serious assaults
Rape offences in Bayside have remained steady over the years, with 40 offences recorded in the year ended March 2022, which is one more than the year prior.
Factors behind these statistics can include family violence, parties known and also can include multiple offences committed by the one person
Since Judd’s cry for help, Victoria Police launched Operation Ibis, with police working collaboratively with specialist units such as Victoria Police’s Crime Investigation Unit, Public Order Response Team, and the Air Wing to act on real time intelligence to identify and apprehend offenders.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews hit out at Judd last month after her outburst, declaring he was ‘not interested in having an argument with Ms Judd over Brighton’s crime issues.
‘I’m also obliged to point out though, I think there are more than 70 additional police in the Bayside area, and the most recent crime statistics released by an independent agency would not support those sweeping assessments about patterns of crime,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘I say this respectfully to Bec Judd, or anybody – I don’t want anybody to feel unsafe,’ he said. ‘I’m sorry she feels that way. The data would tell a different story, but it is about personal feelings and your sense of safety.’
Former My Kitchen Rules star Zana Pali also hit Instagram
Former My Kitchen Rules star Zana Pali weighed in to support her friend Bec Judd after buying a plot of land in Brighton, Melbourne’s fourth wealthiest suburb, last September
Former My Kitchen Rules star Zana Pali supported her friend Bec Judd
After some initial blowback, Judd received praise for her strong stance against crime in her area.
Among her backers was reality TV friend, My Kitchen Rules star Zana Pali, who also took top Instagram to declared there was a ‘clear target’ on the Bayside which was causing ‘anxiety and fear among the community’.
The mother-of-two claimed ‘it was only a matter of time before someone gets killed’ and said she had received ‘countless’ messages from other worried locals who said they were scared to sleep at night in fear of being robbed.
Judd maintained crime was worsening in her neighbourhood and credited her attack on Mr Andrews with the creation of the new police taskforce.
‘I’m glad my voice has shone a light on the escalating aggravated burglaries in Bayside,’ Judd claimed to The Australian.
‘[While] we are thankful for low non-aggressive crime rates, the increasing nature of home invasion-type crimes in our local community is what makes residents, particularly women, feel unsafe.
‘I welcome Operation Ibis and the extra 500 police promised to the people of Victoria.’