New figures confirm the Hunter Valley is an armed robbery hotspot with offences well above the state average.
The latest Bureau of Crime Statistics figures show in the two years to September there was a 66 per cent increase in robberies with a weapon not a firearm.
It will come as no surprise to Hunter police who have set up several Strike Forces in response to more than 100 armed robberies this year alone.
The Bureau's Jackie Fitzgerald says the figures are concerning.
"This offences is definitely well into the serious offending," she said.
"The overall rate of this robbery offence in the Hunter is actually 20 per cent higher than the state average.
"These offences seem to be occurring in business and commercial premises like stations, takeaway food outlets, chemists, newsagents and general stores, and so in one respect these aren't kind of targeting individuals on the street.
"They are restrained to commercial premises and so the public shouldn't be too concerned, but certainly not good news for those business owners."
But there is good news in terms of malicious damage offences in the Hunter which are down nine per cent.
Assaults dropped seven per cent, while stealing from a dwelling was down two per cent.
Number plate and petrol theft offences are also stable across the region.
Northern region police commander, assistant commissioner Carlene York says officers have thrown everything at the armed robbery problem and their work is paying off.
"It is very concerning to the police and I know the officers have been working very hard on it," she said.
"These figures were relevant up to September, but since then we've had some great arrests and a large number of offenders have been arrested and taken into custody.
"Hopefully in the next crime stats we'll see some significant drops."