THE region’s new top cop says property crime and drug supply are two of his top priorities after his first week in the chair.
Superintendent Fred Trench is the new Oxley commander and will oversee the transition from the Oxley Local Area Command into the new Oxley Police District, taking in half of the neighbouring Barwon command.
From February, he will officially oversee an area stretching from Willow Tree to the Pilliga, encompassing Tamworth, Quirindi, Gunnedah, Boggabri, Narrabri, Wee Waa, Walcha, and everywhere in between.
“There is no change to frontline resources,” he told The Leader.
“Police will continue to work in and serve our local communities, that will not change, but we have additional resources and that will be the big change.”
Superintendent Trench said he was looking forward to the challenge of leading more than 185 sworn and unsworn officers, including nine new additional positions, announced as part of the force’s reshuffle.
Property crime and break-and-enters are a focus, particularly in Tamworth, and I’m committed to targeting drug crime and putting all resources available in that because it’s all interconnected.Superintendent Fred Trench
“It has some challenges but a good management team, a lot of dedicated officers and I’m looking forward to working with the new resources like the Region Enforcement Squad (RES) to combat local crime,” he said.
“Property crime and break-and-enters are a focus, particularly in Tamworth, and I’m committed to targeting drug crime and putting all resources available in that because it’s all interconnected.
“If you can stem the drug dealing then that impacts on other areas of crime like property offences and domestic violence.”
For close to two years, Chief Inspector Jeff Budd has been at the helm of Oxley police. He takes on a different role and will be officer-in-charge of Tamworth under the new police structure.
Boasting a 36-year career in the force, Superintendent Trench is no stranger to the area.
Superintendent Trench said the scourge of drugs like ice are one of the primary problems fuelling crime rates, and he was determined to tackle the root causes.
“You can’t arrest your way out of problems like this,” he said.
“We need a whole-community approach, that includes working with locals, reporting suspicious activity but also changing societal issues so that it is not reacting to these situations.
“We will continue proactive operations in a bid to prevent crime, and that is something we have to work with the community to achieve.”