The second annual NSW Rural Crime Week officially commenced today just days after the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government introduced a Bill to strengthen legislation regarding stock theft, trespass and illegal hunting.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC said farmers and property owners in the region can be assured the Government is working closely with the NSW Police Force to stamp out rural crime.
“I welcome the NSW Police Force’s proposal to introduce rural crime prevention teams to bolster and improve its response to rural crime in our region,” Mr MacDonald said.
“The job of a farmer is hard enough without having livestock stolen or fences ruined in wanton acts of destruction.
“Unfortunately, police often find rural crimes go unreported because victims believe there is no proof, or it isn’t serious enough to warrant a police investigation. This year’s Rural Crime Week is all about dispelling that doubt.
Minister for Police Troy Grant said the review of the current law undertaken by former NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Steve Bradshaw provided important guidance for the Government in crafting the reforms currently before Parliament.
“These measures will ensure the courts have appropriate penalties available to hold offenders to account, and to deter would-be criminals from engaging in this hideous behaviour, which costs country communities and hard-working rural residents a fortune,” Mr Grant said.
“The NSW Police Force takes rural crime very seriously, and our reforms are designed to give regional officers the legislative framework they need to solve these crimes and give farmers more confidence to report any incidents.”
Deputy Commissioner Worboys said the establishment of rural crime prevention teams is one of many new operational reforms the NSW Police Force is proposing to introduce to bolster and improve its response to rural crime across the state.
“More specially trained rural crime officers will be clustered in our regional centres to respond quickly and efficiently to rural crime as part of the re-engineering process and in response to the Bradshaw Review,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.
“NSW Police is the only law enforcement agency in Australia to have a nationally accredited course for Rural Crime Investigators (RCIs), and we are committed to ongoing education and training as part of the strengthened response to rural crime.”