Community invited to forum addressing rural crime offences at Cobar

A community forum addressing rural crime in the state’s central west will be hosted by officers attached to Central North Police District this month.

Community members and landholders across the Cobar Shire are invited to attend the forum on Wednesday 9 October 2019, during which members of the Rural Crime Prevention Team (RCPT) will discuss their capabilities, duties and staffing across the Central Zone.

Officers attached to Central North Police District will join Rural Crime Investigators in discussing their general concerns relating to rural crime in the area.

Newly-appointed Rural Crime Investigators, Plain Clothes Senior Constable Harry Johnstone-Burt and Andrew Smith from Bourke will also be in attendance.

Central Zone RCPT Coordinator, Detective Sergeant Andrew McLean, said the forum was organised following a string of rural crime-related incidents in the Cobar area over recent months.

“This forum doubles as a chance to promote the NSW Police Force Rural Crime Prevention Team to the local farming community, and to interact with victims of crime by providing advice in respect to reporting and target hardening,” he said.

“Rural crime in the Cobar area, in particular stock theft, has caused significant concern among the farming community and we want to reassure those property owners that the Rural Crime Investigators and uniformed police are actively targeting these offenders.”

The forum will be held at the Cobar Bowling & Golf Club on Bloxham Street at Cobar at 2pm on Wednesday 9 October 2019.

Those in attendance will have the opportunity to discuss their concerns following a short presentation.

The community forum comes following a police operation targeting stock theft and illegal hunting offences in the Cobar Shire on Thursday (26 September 2019). As a result of Operation Highground, significant community engagement was achieved, as well as the execution of rural patrols, livestock inspections and traffic enforcement.

Legal action was taken against those committing rural crime offences, including a 32-year-old man who was charged with not keeping firearm safely. Police seized four firearms and over 650 rounds of ammunition and issued the man a Court Attendance Notice to appear before Cobar Local Court on Wednesday 27 November 2019.

Between August and September 2019, NSW Police Force and Crime Stoppers NSW also conducted a six-week campaign targeting rural crime in regional NSW, including illegal hunting, stock theft, trespassing and firearm theft. The campaign provided information on how regional communities can deter or prevent crime while encouraging victims or witnesses to report crime – see something, suspect something, say something.

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