Increased policing combats assault

POLICE have been buoyed by new statistics which show a fall in violent assaults in the Richmond-Tweed division.

The NSW Recorded Crime Statistics show violent offences in the Richmond-Tweed division decreased by 4.2% from the period Jan 2007-Dec 2011.

Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Greg Moore said police had worked hard to combat violent assaults.

"Over the past three years we have seen a significant drop in assault rates, particularly in this command," Det Insp Moore said.

"The primary reason for the drop in violent crime can be directly linked to a lot of the good work that has been achieved through our work with other agencies and the community in driving down alcohol-related assaults in entertainment precincts in Casino, Ballina, Lismore and other major towns."

Det Insp Moore said police are still not satisfied with violent assault rates but the statistics show a stronger police presence reduces crime.

"Successful strategies have included increased police operations in busy periods and covert and overt licensing operations," Det Insp Moore.

However the statistics were not as positive when it came to vehicle thefts, with a whopping 23% increase across the region last year.

The trend was seen across NSW, with a state-wide increase of 7.5% from 2011 compared to 2010.

Det Insp Moore said arrests have been made after a spike in alleged car thefts over summer in Ballina and Lismore.