Street racing, hooning, cybersecurity and domestic violence will be top of the agenda when council staff sit down to debrief following the national anti-crime conference in Gunnedah.
"We'll do a debrief in the next couple of weeks and talk about our learnings, what went well, and what we can improve, and then go from there," Gunnedah Shire Council's community and social planner Debra Hilton said.
Ms Hilton helped organise the Crime Prevention and Community Safety Conference at the town hall on Conadilly Street from November 23 to 24, as part of her role on the council's crime prevention working group.
"The benefit was not only to draw together a whole heap of specialists in their fields," Ms Hilton said.
"But also to give our communities, our services and our neighbours the opportunity to tap into those speakers because those opportunities are few and far between."
In the 12 months to June 2023, domestic violence related assaults in Gunnedah increased by 2.1 per cent, break and enters were up 4.7pc, and motor vehicle theft was up 4pc, according to the latest Bureau of Statistics Crime and Research (BOCSAR).
Something needs to be done here for the children. There's nothing for them to do.- Gunnedah local Kylie Beasley
Word on the street
One of the locals who did not get a ticket to the event, Susan Johnston, a resident in Gunnedah, said "we pay rates, we should be included in all aspects of what's being decided for Gunnedah".
And as for NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley refusing to back a parliamentary inquiry into regional crime, Ms Johnston said "we don't have police 24 hours a day, so we can call police but they have to get them from Tamworth".
"We've got to lock up all the time, it shouldn't have to be like that in Gunnedah," she said.
"We're watching all the time. When one of the security lights come on, we jump up. We're looking around to see who's out there."
Gunnedah local Kylie Beasley said of the high rates of youth crime in the area; "something needs to be done here for the children. There's nothing for them to do. Police are doing their jobs but they're just getting let out through the system".
The regional crime inquiry is being pushed by the 86 councils that make up the Country Mayors' Association led by Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey, NSW Farmers, Police Association NSW, and the Country Women's Association.
In the Tamworth region, the biggest increase in crime was break-and-enters up by 4pc, motor vehicle theft was up 2.4pc, and malicious damage to property had shot up by 2.2pc in the year to June 2023, the BOCSAR figures state.
Across the New England North West, violent offences overall jumped by a concerning 3.5pc in the five years to June this year.
A total of 24 speakers were invited to the Crime Prevention and Community Safety Conference, including NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley, 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame, Man Cave founder Hunter Johnson who spoke about ending male aggression towards women, and a number of representatives from organisations such as cyber security, Drug and Alcohol Foundation, and NSW Police.