Rural crime roadshow to address awareness, increase reporting

Rural crime roadshow to address awareness, increase reporting

Draw the line on regional crime is the central message to the new Regional Crime Campaign that was launched by local officers and the NSW Police Force on Monday.

In NSW more than 80 percent of farmers have reported being a victim of crime according to new research by the Centre for Rural Criminology at the University of New England.

NSW Police said even more critical is the high levels of repeat victimisation, with more than 76 percent of farmers being a victim of crime on more than two occasions, and more than 23 percent experiencing crime more than seven times according to the data from the research.

Crime Stoppers and the NSW Police Force have launched a state-wide crime campaign from Monday to address awareness of regional crimes, prevention measures and to increase reporting to Crime Stoppers and the police.

NSW Police believe regional crime can affect individual's finances and safety directly but can also have a more widespread impact on the prosperity of the town and its people.

In regional areas, the perception of a community, its safety, its people, and its economic situation can affect tourism, impact on its attraction of high-quality health professionals or teachers and other essential service providers.

But it doesn't stop there.

Crimes in regional areas have a flow-on effect, impacting pricing, distribution, and availability of produce everywhere.

NSW Police said the campaign will provide information on how regional communities can deter or prevent crime in their area while encouraging everyone to report crime.

The message to the community is: Any information on any crime anytime.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, is urging local residents to report any piece of information no matter how small to Crime Stoppers and the NSW Police.

"It's disheartening to hear more than 80 percent of our farmers have reported being victims of criminal activity," Mr Elliot said.

"Our farmers have had a shocking few years with drought, bushfires, COVID-19 and floods - adding victim-of-crime to the mix is reprehensible."

Mr Elliot said the Government and police are calling on the NSW community to report any information on any crime anytime.

"If you know something, say something," he said.

"We've seen firsthand the resilience of our farmers, but I draw the line on regional crime."

Crime Stoppers is working with the NSW Police Force Rural Crime Prevention Team and the Police Transport and Public Safety Command across a range of major crime areas including stock theft, marine theft and poaching.

Between 2015 and 2020, there has been a conservative estimated value of $22.5m worth of sheep and cattle reported stolen within NSW according to the NSW Police Force.

NSW Police Force's Corporate Sponsor for Rural Crime, Acting Assistant Commissioner Brett Greentree, says it is important to work together to protect farmers.

"Rural crime has no borders and police across Australia are working together to protect the livelihood of our farmers against offenders who target them," Acting Assistant Commissioner Greentree said.

"Our farmers have already suffered natural disasters such as drought, bushfires and floods and we will not accept people stealing from them or making them feel vulnerable in their own home. We urge you to call Crime Stoppers or your local police with any information."

The newly-launched community awareness campaign will run state-wide for a 12-month period.

Crime Stoppers will be visiting regional communities to engage with communities in an effort to help reduce crime and increase reporting.