St Kilda Jetty Stabbing

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A man has been charged with attempted murder over an alleged unprovoked stabbing at St Kilda’s Brooks Jetty.

Police said a 24-year-old man was stabbed in the back, neck and shoulder as he sat with a friend on the jetty on a Saturday night last month.

The victim suffered a punctured lung, a fractured vertebrae and six or seven puncture wounds, the ABC reported.

On the following Wednesday, police arrested a 22-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl, both from St Kilda.

The man was later charged with attempted murder, intentionally causing serious injury and recklessly causing serious injury.

Police said the teenage girl was still assisting them with their inquiries.

The incident though, should not give people a false impression. St Kilda is still a relatively safe place to live and its safety has improved over the years.

The Weekly Review states that ST Kilda police have reported massive drops in robbery, burglary and theft over the past 10 years.

The reduced crime statistics come despite Port Phillip’s steady population growth, which added 25000 people since 1996.

Sergeant Peter Easton, who compiled the statistics, said St Kilda’s reputation as an unsafe suburb was increasingly without merit.

“St Kilda is now safer than it’s ever been,” he said.

“We’ve benefited from the socio-economic changes of St Kilda. It’s moved from being the underground St Kilda to trendy and upmarket, and a very desirable place to live.”

Mr Easton said spikes were usually attributed to “one or two active crooks” and could include graffiti taggers. He said St Kilda particularly suffered alcohol-driven crime from night venue revellers.

“We used to have a lot of issues, people would come into St Kilda and rather than get a cab home, they’d rob a car.”

Mr Easton said since police had targeted the causes of crime – which in St Kilda tended to be drug use and prostitution – incidents of theft, including car theft and theft from cars, had dropped.

He also said of all crimes reported, the percentage of those solved has risen from 33.8 per cent in 2001 to 48.5 per cent in 2011. This was above the state-wide average of 46.5 per cent in 2010–2011.

However, assaults rose in the area from 374 in 2001 to 470 last financial year.

In the same period, damage to property cases also rose from 499 to 527, with a spike of 739 in the 2006–2007 financial year.

In the same period the only areas recording a rise were assaults – including family violence – and damage to property.

The statistics, which covered St Kilda, St Kilda West, St Kilda East, Balaclava, parts of Ripponlea and Elwood, showed a drop in residential burglaries from 1228 in 2001 to 356 last year.

Theft of motor vehicles in the same period dropped from1112 to just 205.

Port Phillip council estimated the population was 73,000 in 1996. The Australian Bureau of Statistics stated population reached 97,500 in 2010.

 By Matthew Barnett



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