Calls for a crime inquiry to address law and order concerns in regional areas like Dubbo have been dismissed by the NSW police minister.
In October 2023, the NSW Country Mayors Association, in support with the NSW Police Association and NSW Farmers, urged the NSW government to hold an inquiry into crime in rural and regional areas.
It came after data showed up to 90 per cent of crimes including vehicle theft, breaking and entering, sexual assault and domestic assault are happening in regional communities.
"One-third of NSW's population live outside metropolitan areas, but we are still second-class citizens when it comes to the safety of our communities," CMA chair Jamie Chaffey said at the time.
When comparing the rate of incidents per 100,000 people, Dubbo's break and enters to non-dwellings are 5.4 times the NSW average. The Bureau of Statistics and Data information shows home break-ins are at 4.5 times the NSW average.
Vehicle thefts are 3.6 times higher than the rest of NSW and domestic violence is three times as high.
But police minister Yasmin Catley said police were already addressing those issues.
"I've visited regional towns since becoming police minister and spoken to community groups, I am aware of the issues they're raising," she said.
"We don't need a parliamentary inquiry for politicians to tell us there's a problem. We know there's a problem and police are addressing it."
"Where there's a need, police will respond," Ms Catley said.
"We know police can surge resources; officers are highly mobile, adaptable and can respond to incidents right across their local district to meet the needs of all communities day and night."
Shadow Minister for Police Paul Toole said an inquiry was needed and was left disappointed by the minister's response.
"An inquiry would give us the answers we need to questions like what the core issues are and what our hardworking police need to combat this crime," Mr Toole said.
"This is a minister who is turning a blind eye to the issues at hand, especially if it doesn't apply to a metro area.
"This situation cannot go on, we can't have residents afraid to step out their front door. That's no way to live, and nobody deserves to feel that way.
"We need to ensure we have enough police on the ground, with the resources they need to proactively address and deter criminal activity and make rural areas a no-go-zone for potential wrongdoers.
"We need a bi-partisan supported inquiry to address regional and rural crime, it's that simple."
However, Dubbo councillor Matt Wright has previously said to get enough police on the ground, people needed to be reporting crime.
The comments were made after he heard people in Wellington were not going to the police.
"For police to build an evidence-based case on growing numbers in a certain area it absolutely relies on the community to report crime," he said.
"It's a cycle. Communities are part of this as well. They do need to put their hand up, they need to report that crime, build those case statistics up so that we can push forward and support that case for a 24 hour police station [in Wellington]," he said.
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