NSW Police are determined to crack down on rural crime and educate farmers on how they can increase their security during Rural Crime Week this week.
NSW Police have allocated 11 Rural Crime Investigators across New South Wales, two of them are based out of Muswellbrook.
Between June 2017 and July 2018, almost $3 million worth of cattle and sheep were stolen from NSW farmers.
In 2017 the NSW Police Force rolled out Rural Crime Prevention Teams across the state in a bid to target, prevent and disrupt criminal activity such as this.
Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said underreporting of rural crime has been an ongoing issue for farmers and police, but rural crime prevention has taken a new direction.
“With the establishment of Rural Crime Prevention Teams, police are now working more closely with farmers and rural communities in a coordinated approach that will create a shared understanding of the issues we face. We are in this together and everyone has to have the confidence to report and call out criminal behaviour in their local areas,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.
“Rural crime is more than just stock and property theft, it comes in many other forms and our investigators will continue to proactively target crimes including illegal hunting, trespassing, firearm theft and illegal firearms as well as threats to biosecurity.
“By engaging farmers and locals, we can build resilience in the community and work to have a greater understanding, which will allow us to successfully hunt down, arrest and prosecute those affecting the livelihoods of our farming communities through illegal activities,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.
With the increased capabilities and police presence between January and August this year, more than 160 rural crime offences have been detected and are currently before the courts.
The NSW Police Rural Crime Prevention Team are holding 26 workshops across regional NSW this month and next.
The get-togethers will give farmers the opportunity to hear from police about the steps farmers can take to detect and prevent crime, new crime fighting technologies, how to report crime to police and what to do if a crime occurs.
One of the workshops will be in Muswellbrook on September 25 at the Muswellbrook and District Workers Club from 6pm until 8pm.
For more information and to register: http://www.nswfarmers.org.au/NSWFA/Content/IndustryPolicy/Resource/Tackling_Rural_Crime.aspx
Image credit: Police Minister Troy Grant Twitter