Rural crime the target of special police operation

A police operation targeting illegal hunting and trespass offences aims to crack down on rural crime in our area.

Officers attached to Central North Police District and Central Zone Rural Crime Prevention Team launched Operation Highground last week in an effort to detect, deter and prosecute illegal hunting and rural trespass offenders in the Cobar Shire.

The operation comes in response to concerns about cattle, sheep and goat theft from rural properties in the shire over the past 18 months.

Officers are also concerned that boundary fences are being cut, most commonly to steal goats.

Central North Police District Senior Constable Harry Johnstone-Burt said the public can expect to see an increase in policing presence throughout the course of the operation.

“Not only are our farmers adversely affected by the drought, rural crime has financially and mentally devastated local land owners throughout NSW,” he said.

“The NSW Police Force and the Rural Crime Prevention Team (RCPT) acknowledge this and are determined to put a stop to rural crime.”

Senior Constable Johnstone-Burt emphasised that rural crime will not be tolerated.

“A targeted approach in relation to those committing rural crime has been implemented and will ensure those identified taking part in rural crime will be dealt with accordingly,” he said.

During January to July 2019 a total of 818 head of cattle (conservative estimate $687,000) and 11,661 head of sheep (conservative estimate $1.4m) were reported to police as stolen across NSW.

Of that figure, 77 per cent of the reported stolen cattle were recorded within the Western Region of NSW and 51 per cent of the reported stolen sheep.

Anyone with information involving incidents of rural crime is urged to contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers

The public is reminded not to report crime via the NSW Police social media pages.