Focus on Rural Crime in NSW

RURAL REPORTING: Minister for Police Troy Grant and Western Region Commander Geoff McKechnie, Dubbo Saleyards. Photo: GRACE RYAN.

RURAL REPORTING: Minister for Police Troy Grant and Western Region Commander Geoff McKechnie, Dubbo Saleyards. Photo: GRACE RYAN.

A greater supply of resources and a different structure in the police force could help combat the rural crime epidemic in the central west. 

Member for Dubbo, Minister for Police and Justice and Deputy Premier Troy Grant said the current police model, Local Area Commands (LACs), may not be the best way to run police stations in western NSW.

Mr Grant and Western Region Commander and NSW Police Corporate Sponsor for Rural Crime, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie launched rural crime week at the Dubbo Saleyards on Monday.

The member for Dubbo said this is the first time the government has looked at structure and resourcing to address rural crime since he started in the police force in 1988.

“I don’t believe one size fits all, we need a structure that suits our area,” he said. 

“I don’t believe one size fits all, we need a structure that suits our area,” - Troy Grant

“LACs are formed on geographical situations. Some of our towns are classed as 3As which have less resources, something I don’t think is acceptable.”

The new executive for rural crime announced by the NSW Government is an exciting addition to the police force, Mr Grant said. 

“The new executive knows what they’re doing,” he said. 

Assistant Commissioner McKechnie is encouraging rural landholders to report crimes they witness or experience.

“The offences are significant and we’re convinced we’re not hearing all the crimes. Farmers notice (the crimes) but don’t think there is much to be done, this is not the case, this information could be the missing piece to the puzzle,” he said. 

The Assistant Commissioner is asking farmers to install cameras, report crimes as soon as they discover them and report or capture any evidence available to them.

“Evidence speaks for itself. Phone and video evidence is sufficient, just do so without putting yourself in danger. Don’t take the law into your own hands. DO what you can to record details and contact police using 000,” he said.

When he was asked to give a message to trespassers Assistant Commissioner McKechnie advised them to “pull ya head in.” 

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