NEW England police have wrapped up a two-day high visibility rural crime operation.
Officers from the Tingha, Bundarra, Ashford, Delungra, Warialda and Bingara areas, backed by police from Gravesend, Pallamallawa, rural crime investigative unit as well as Inverell Criminal Investigation conducted the blitz on December 3 and 4.
Inverell officer-in-charge Chief Inspector Rowan O'Brien said the goal was to saturate an area centered around the North Star and Croppa Creek areas, bounded by Pallamallawa and Warialda in the south and Yetman in the north.
Officers were tasked with visiting properties in the area to speak with property owners and managers to discuss rural crime-related issues and deliver information packs relating to safe storage of firearms.
Inspector O’Brien said both marked and unmarked vehicles were used in the blitz as well as trial bikes that patrolled Bullala State Forest and Kwiambal National Park.
"Operation Rusticus provided the opportunity for sector staff to get out and about and gain further insight into what is impacting on those operating businesses in the rural sector,” he said.
“We can't do much about the weather but we can, with the assistance of landowners and their neighbours, reduce the impact rural crime has on their finances and well-being.”
During the operation a 21-year-old Warialda man was allegedly caught with 24 cannabis plants.
He was served with a court attendance notice for cultivating a prohibited plant.
A 60-year-old Warialda man was allegedly caught drink driving. He was charged with low-range PCA and both men will appear before Warialda Local Court on January 23.
Inspector O’Brien said more than 60 properties were visited during the two-day operation.
“Information gained will be used to formulate future targetted patrols of the area and other operations,” he said.