Farmers under siege: Push to stamp out rural crime
THERE'S a new push to stamp out rural crime, as Crime Stoppers and the NSW Police Force combine their efforts to address the ongoing issue of crimes affecting regional New South Wales.
The new six-week state-wide Rural Crime campaign will be targeting on illegal hunting, stock theft, trespassing and firearm theft.
This is the first time that Crime Stoppers and NSW Police have collaborated on a dedicated campaign to address rural crime.
One of the biggest issues the campaign will be addressing is stock theft, which has seen more than 20,000 individual head of stock stolen from NSW farms in 2018, with the loss of sheep and cattle alone costing farmers more than $3.2million, according to NSW Police.
With Casino recently announced as the new home of a Rural Crimes Squad in Northern NSW, this latest campaign will provide information on how regional communities can deter or prevent crime in their area while encouraging the community to report crime - see something, suspect something, say something.
NSW residents are being urged to contact Crime Stoppers, to report any illegal activity with all information treated in the strictest of confidence.
"Our farmers are under siege. Already adversely affected by the drought, rural crime is having a significant and direct effect on the economic welfare of farmers and their families and we need to do something about it," NSW Crime Stoppers CEO Peter Price said.
"We don't want to know who you are, we just want to know what you know. Anything you have seen or heard could help police bring those responsible to justice."
Commander for Rural Crime Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie said rural crime is continuing to have a devastating impacting across the state.
"To make a real difference, we need a whole of community approach. There are some preventative measures that can be undertaken such as installing cameras, ensuring gates are locked and in the case of firearm theft, ensuring guns are locked and ammunition kept separate to any firearms," Mr McKechnie said.
"It is also important to report crime as soon as it occurs, whether you are the victim or you have witnessed a crime. A call to Crime Stoppers or the police at the earliest opportunity increases the chances of recovering stolen livestock or firearms and catching the people committing these terrible crimes."
If you think you have information about someone in your community who has committed a crime call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 for a confidential conversation, or report securely online at www.crimestoppers.com.au.