An emphasis on crimes committed on farms is the focus of Rural Crime Week, and the NSW Police Force chose the event’s launch to announce a new and improved batch of rural crime investigators.
NSW police minister Troy Grant launched the week at the property ‘Eureka’, owned by sheep farmer Frank Roberts west of Dubbo.
He was joined by Deputy Commissioner for Regional NSW, Gary Worboys, Western Region commander Geoff McKechnie and staff from the NSW Department of Primary Industries.
Rural Crime Week is aimed at issues such as stock theft, firearm theft, trespassing and illegal hunting.
“This government is committed to supporting the NSW Police Force and regional communities by investing and developing new opportunities through the DPI to reduce rural crime and raise awareness of this issue, which is one of the most under-reported and has been for past couple of decades,” Mr Grant said.
“Years ago we had the old stock squad and that was depleted until the rural crime investigators were resourced. Some 34 exist at the moment but obviously we’re looking for opportunities to do more.”
Those 34 officers spent last week in Goulburn undergoing specialised training aimed at increasing their knowledge and awareness of rural issues.
And according to Mr McKechnie, the industry-recognised program they undertook has them well-versed to tackle ever-evolving issues.
“It skills our people up with the necessary abilities with mustering and working on rural property going about day-to-day work,” he said.
“They also looked at technology that helps in stock identity.
“What we’re trying to do is increase our skill base and level of knowledge so when people contact us we can answer questions and take detailed reports.”