A RECENT survey has revealed more than 80 percent of New South Wales farmers have reported being a victim of crime, with more than 23 percent saying they have experienced crime at least seven times.*
Last year, Hunter Valley Rural Crime investigators reported forty-five Black Baldy cows and their calves and one apricot Limousin bull valued at $130,000, were stolen from a 6000-acre property in Merriwa.
Stuart Sheldrake, a local stock agent at McGrath Upper Hunter said stock theft is ripe when good quality cattle are about.
“During the drought, most people wouldn’t bother but now that there are good cattle around you’ll definitely hear about it,” he said.
In response to high levels of regional crime, the NSW Police Force and Crime Stoppers have launched a state-wide campaign.
During the twelve-month campaign, Crime Stoppers will be visiting and engaging with regional communities to encourage increased crime reporting in regional areas.
Peter Price AM, NSW Crime Stoppers CEO said: “We don’t want to know who you are; we just want to know what you know.”
“Crime Stoppers is calling for a whole of community approach to draw the line on crime and adopt better prevention strategies and be on the lookout for any suspicious behaviour,” Mr. Price said.
David Elliott, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, urged regional residents to report any piece of information no matter how small.
“It’s disheartening to hear more than 80 percent of our farmers have reported being victims of criminal activity,” Mr. Elliot said.
“We’ve seen firsthand the resilience of our farmers, but I draw the line on regional crime,” he said.
In the case of an emergency or to report a crime in progress call Triple Zero (000).
*Source: NSW Farmers Survey, data analysis February 2021, Centre for Rural Criminology, University of New England.