Rural Crime Week: Duffers and thieves to be hit with tougher penalties

UNITED APPROACH: Member for Dubbo Troy Grant and NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie.
UNITED APPROACH: Member for Dubbo Troy Grant and NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie.

FARM lobby groups and the state government have announced tough measures to tackle duffing and trespass during rural crime week. 

Rising livestock prices have prompted a surge in stock theft and landholders still face trespass issues. 

Earlier this year the Bradshaw Review, completed by former NSW Police assistant commissioner Steve Bradshaw, promised heightened penalties for perpetrators of rural crime. 

And NSW police minister Troy Grant spoke about the commitment in tackling crime in the bush during the launch of rural crime week at “Eureka”, in the central west this week.

“We welcome any intuitive that improves policing in rural areas,” said NSW Farmers president Derek Schoen. 

Mr Schoen said we often heard about the theft of livestock but trespass was another major issue for landholders.

He said trespass and theft often went together.

In addition to losing stock landholders can be struck by fuel thieves and opportunists looking to secure equipment too. 

“Trespass is a major issue and we welcome the strengthening of trespass laws (from the Bradshaw Review),” he said. 

Mr Schoen said unoccupied properties were often hit and in addition to more policing landholders were encouraged to be vigilant. 

In the instances when there were charges and convictions he urged courts to go tough on the perpetrators.

Farmers believed that there were too many instances of stock theft where the victims and police had been left disillusioned because the penalties appeared “light”. 

Read more: