Coronavirus seems to be putting the clamps on Tasmania's criminals.
"While it's normal for crime rates to fluctuate, crime rates have dropped across the state across most areas by about 10 per cent in the past month," Tasmania Police Acting Commander Stuart Wilkinson said on Friday.
"As you could expect with more people being home and not in public, the rate of home burglaries and public place assaults and incidents has dropped," Acting Commander Wilkinson said.
He said serious crime had also decreased, while the rate of business burglaries remained steady compared to last year.
Police are putting significant resources into the coronavirus response, but Acting Commander Wilkinson said they would continue with regular police work.
"While dealing with this public health emergency, Tasmania Police remains committed to providing policing services and we will still have a visible presence in our communities," Acting Commander Wilkinson said.
"People who are detected by police being away from their primary residence without a reasonable excuse face COVID-related charges under the Public Health Act, and this includes people committing offences."
For example, he said:
- A 29-year-old Rocherlea man had been charged with a range of offences, including failing to comply with a direction from the director of Public Health, after his vehicle was intercepted by police; and
- a 23-year-old woman was arrested and charged with offences including failing to comply with a direction of the director after a series of vehicles were broken into near the Launceston General Hospital.
The failing to comply charge related to her allegedly not having a reasonable excuse to be away from her residence.
Earlier, Tasmania's criminals had a busy January, little knowing coronavirus compliance was about to take people off the streets.
Police recorded 2691 offences for the month, which was the highest monthly total in more than a year and 701 more than the recent low in August (1990 offences).
Offences were also up on a financial year to date basis.
Police recorded 16,917 offences for the seven months to January.
That was up from 16,153 in the corresponding period a year earlier and up against the three-year average of 15,864.
There was better news in some of the key North-West and Northern areas of the state.
Offences year to date had slumped in the police Devonport and Burnie divisions and fallen slightly in the state's crime capital, Launceston.
The Devonport Division recorded a 9.1 per cent decrease in offences to 1356 for the first seven months of the financial year.
Burnie Division offences decreased by 11.9 per cent to 1123.
Offences edged down by 1.3 per cent to 4433 in the Launceston Division.
The Central West and Glenorchy divisions also had slight decreases.
The biggest increase in percentage terms was a thumping 39 per cent to 898 in the Kingston Division.
Acting Commander Wilkinson said businesses were encouraged, as always, to take measures to increase security, such as CCTV.
He said anyone who saw anything suspicious should contact police on 131 444 or report anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at crimestopperstas.com.au