Katanning’s crime rate has reached its lowest point in the nine years of records publicly available, with new data showing a drop in crime in many towns across the Great Southern in the past financial year. WA Police publishes online crime statistics for 18 selected offences which can be broken down by suburb. Statistics for the 2021-22 financial year were published this month. The total number of offences in Katanning fell 18.6 per cent in 2021-22 to 625 offences — the lowest figure in the nine years of records available online. In 2016-17, the total number of offences peaked at 1075. Katanning Police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Carlos Correia said he was delighted with the results. “I think it is really about the community getting behind police and working together to bring crime down,” he said. “It is pretty pleasing to know we have had a good year.” Sen. Sgt Correia attributed the reduction to a multi-pronged approach. “Our staff have been move involved in community engagement,” he said. “We’ve invested a bit of time in people going out into the community, speaking with the community, finding out information and acting on that information in a timely manner. “We have done more quality vehicle stops and more quality house searches and as a result, some repeat offenders have been brought into custody. “We’ve put together some search warrants where we’ve got officers from Perth to come down and help us with that. “Drugs and crime go hand in hand. If people are taking illicit drugs, they are more likely to take up crime to fund that use.” The biggest reduction in any one category came in sexual offences, which dropped from 31 offences in 2020-21 to five offences in 2021-22. The most common offences in Katanning in 2021-22 were property damage (123, down 10.9 per cent), stealing (117, down 5.6 per cent) and drug offences (90, up 1.1 per cent). Sen. Sgt Correia said he was proud of his team’s efforts to reduce youth offending. “The magistrate commented recently that she didn’t have any children in the Children’s Court,” he said. “We don’t want them to be in court, we want to divert them away from court. “We have been finding things from them to do, whether it is laser tag, a pool competition or blue light activities — it’s keeping kids away from offending and in school.” Like Katanning, the towns of Cranbrook, Tambellup, Frankland River, Dumbleyung and Wagin all recorded their lowest number of total offences in the nine years of records. There was not a single burglary or stealing offence recorded in Tambellup in 2021-22. Crime was also down on the previous financial year in Woodanilling, Pingrup and Tenterden. In Kojonup, the results were slightly different. Total offences in Kojonup increased from 93 to 141 compared to the previous financial year, largely due to a 125 per cent rise in drug offences, from 35 offences to 79. Despite the drug-related results, total offences in Kojonup remain well below the peak of 353 recorded in 2015-16. Gnowangerup had its two-year streak of declining offences brought to an end, with an overall increase of about 18 per cent. However Gnowangerup’s crime rate remains well below the nine-year average, with the total of 72 offences the second-lowest in that period.