The third annual NSW Rural Crime Week aims to unite farmers and police to tackle rural crime.
Rural Crime Detective Inspector Cameron Whiteside said this year’s focus was the 26 workshops delivered in partnership with NSW Farmers.
“The consistent message, is tackling rural crime, target hardening and maximising and reporting of crimes so we can deploy investigators to deal with the problems there are,” he said.
“It’s about increasing our capability to prevent, disrupt and engage in respect to rural crime in rural and regional NSW.
“It’s anything from stock theft, illegal hunting and trespassing, firearm theft and everything in between, break and enter offences on agricultural properties, cruelty to animals, cutting of fences, rural crime-related frauds.”
Workshops have been announced in the North West including Coonabarabran on September 25, the following day in Narrabri and Walcha and Walgett on September 27.
Workshops will also be held in Inverell on October 9 and the following day in Tenterfield, and October 16 in Mungindi.
Detective Inspector Whiteside said they “truly focus on any crime that impacts the agricultural, aquacutlural and pastoral industries”.
He said the aim of the week was to remind people Rural crime investigations teams and all police were accessible to the community.
“Report anything of concern, so we can build up our intelligence and resources to proactively disrupt rural crime.”
Minister for Police and Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said farmers in the region can be assured the government is working closely with the NSW Police Force to crackdown on rural crime.
“Stock theft, illegal hunting, firearm theft and trespassing are all major issues for rural and farming communities that are already experiencing tough times thanks to the drought,” Mr Grant said.
“Unfortunately, rural crime is significantly under-reported as farmers often find it challenging to show proof of trespass and evidence of crime.
“Our farmers are the lifeblood and backbone of this country. They are already doing it extremely tough with the drought and the theft of livestock and equipment further contributes to the hardship they are currently facing.”
Mr Grant said rural crime threatens the livelihood of farmers and rural communities which would not be tolerated.
Between June 2017 and July 2018, almost $3 million dollars’ worth of cattle and sheep was stolen from our farmers.- Minister for Police Troy Grant
“Between June 2017 and July 2018, almost $3 million dollars’ worth of cattle and sheep was stolen from our farmers,” Mr Grant said.
In 2017, the NSW Police Force created Rural Crime Prevention Teams across the state to target, prevent and disrupt criminal activity affecting rural communities.
The local Crime Prevention Team increased from 34 to 45 staff since December 2017 Inspector Whiteside said.
Between January and August, more than 160 rural crime offences were detected and are before the courts and regular operations were run across the state.
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