There’s no denying rural crime is a problem in regional New South Wales.
We’re seeing the highest reported levels of livestock theft since 2013 and a surge in illegal hunting activity.
This year NSW Farmers organised a series of forums on rural crime and the clear message the Association received was that changes to police resourcing and trespass laws were necessary.
Last week the NSW Government announced a reengineering to the NSW Police Force which will include, for the first time, a Deputy Commissioner for Regional NSW Field Operations and a greater focus on the needs of rural NSW.
NSW Farmers welcomes this announcement.
There are unique challenges associated with rural crime, for example, a length of time may pass before a farmer becomes aware of the illegal activity that’s taken place on his or her property, making the task of finding the culprits even harder for police.
At this year’s NSW Farmers’ annual conference, our members passed motions calling for greater police resources and tougher penalties for trespass. We would like to see changes to the staffing of rural police stations so that police aren’t sent away from small stations to deal with shortages in larger regional centres. NSW Farmers is also calling for a mandatory minimum fine of $5500 to deal with rural trespass.