MURDER dipped sharply in the Sturt policing area in the last 12 months, the city and North Adelaide remained top for assaults on police and theft from shops spiked in the Eyre & Western region, latest statistics show.
SA police statistics for the 12 months to the end of September show there was one murder in the Sturt policing area, down by five murders (83 per cent) compared with the year before.
The Sturt policing area runs from Hallett Cove and Aberfoyle Park in the south, to Mile End in the north and as far east as Leawood Gardens.
Despite the fall in the murder rate, Sturt remained top for graffiti, abduction and harassment offences and serious criminal trespass on a residence, although the latter category dropped by 412 offences, or 19 per cent.
The Eastern policing area, which covers the city and North Adelaide, remained the most dangerous for police with 175 assaults on officers in the period - 48 offences, or 38 per cent more, than over the same period the previous year.
As The Advertiser reported recently, the Police Association is calling for the government to consider introducing mandatory sentences for people convicted of assaulting police.
"The association believes no leniency should be afforded to criminals who choose to assault police," association president Mark Carroll said at the time.
"Police certainly don't look forward to fending off assailants and confronting violent offenders and drunken nightclub revellers - they just accept that it's part of their job."
Aggravated sexual assault (157 offences), serious assault resulting in injury (122), aggravated robbery (155) and common assault (1127) were most common in the Elizabeth area, which takes covers major suburbs such as Salisbury, Elizabeth and Parafield Gardens over an area from Pooraka to Angle Vale.
The theft or illegal use of a motor vehicle also was most common in the Elizabeth area, with 920 offences, but that number was down by 112 offences, or 11 per cent on the year before.
Elizabeth also recorded the highest number of thefts from shops (1103), followed by Sturt (963) but the biggest actual increase in the offence was recorded in the Eyre Western policing area where shop thefts rose by 106 incident, or 89 per cent.
The Eyre Western policing area takes in the major centres Whyalla, Ceduna and Port Lincoln.
State-wide, crimes against property, such us graffiti and shop theft, decreased in the past year, while crimes against the person, including murder and assaults against police rose.
There were 22,167 offences 'against the person' over the period - up by 378 offences, or two per cent, on the year prior.
Offences against the person include murder and other homicide-related offences, sexual assault, aggravated robbery, serious assaults resulting in an injury and assaults against police.
Meanwhile, offences against property, which include serious criminal trespass on a residence, the theft or illegal use of a motor vehicle, theft from shops and graffiti, were down four per cent, from 92,708 to 88,660 offences.
SA Police refused to comment on trends for the period, saying the figures were "volatile when examined in isolation over short periods", particularly when small numbers equated to big percentage changes.
"It is the overall trends over time that are most useful and informative when looking at criminal offending patterns," a spokesperson said in a statement.
The figures could also be influenced by a range of other factors such as targeted operations, changes to the law and even the seasons, with "more offending of some types occurring in warmer months", the spokesperson said.