NSW Police muster new crime-fighting strategies to tackle rural crime

STOCK theft, bio-security and illegal hunting are among the issues up for discussion at the annual Rural Crime Investigators Conference that kicked off in Port Macquarie today.

The two-day conference that began this morning (Tuesday, October 25) provides a rare opportunity for NSW Police’s 34 specially-trained rural crime investigators to meet and discuss crime trends and subsequent strategies specific to rural and regional NSW.

Other agenda items at this week’s conference include trespassing on rural properties, the growth of the licit poppies industry, and the use of GPS and other spatial technologies.

In addition, RCIs will gain further knowledge about the Real Time Intelligence Centre and how their work may offer assistance during local investigations.

Western Region commander and NSW Police corporate spokesperson for rural crime, assistant commissioner Geoff McKechnie, said the conference will also be nationally focused with guest speakers from both the Queensland Police Service and Victoria Police attending to discuss current rural crime trends across their respective states.

“Given our rural crime investigators work far and wide, this annual gathering is an important strategy in keeping abreast of developing issues that affect rural communities across NSW,” Mr McKechnie said.

“The conference welcomes other government agencies to address the forum too, as we’re often working with other stakeholders in this space.

“It also demonstrates how seriously the NSW Police, and law enforcement agencies across Australia, take rural crime and how we’re working together to address it,” he said.notrespassing

“We know that the theft of livestock, produce and equipment; illegal shooting, trespassing and other rural crimes can have a devastating effect on farmers, the community and the industry as a whole.

“Coming together over the next two days means we are well-versed on any developing issues in the sector and what new technologies or investigative methods may best be utilised in tackling those issues moving forward.”

The Rural Crime Investigators Pin will also be presented during the conference, and the winner of the annual Rural Crime Investigation Award will be announced.

“We are the only law enforcement agency in Australia to have a nationally accredited course for Rural Crime Investigators, to ensure they’re highly trained with the right skills and resources to work with their local community,” Mr McKechnie said.

“Our experienced team of Rural Crime Investigators are very dedicated and often operate their own properties, giving them an innate understanding of the industry, and the challenges they face.

“The Rural Crime Investigators Award acknowledges the excellent works of one such officer and the efforts they’ve made in working with their local community this year.

“The Rural Crime Investigators Pin will also be presented to eligible officers, which is a reflection of the specialist skills, experience and knowledge required to perform the role.”

The pin not only recognises the work of RCIs within the NSW Police, but is also an important symbol for rural communities across NSW in building relationships with their local officers.

“The NSW Police takes every rural crime seriously; however, we’ve found it continues to go unreported because victims often believe there’s no proof, it’s not serious enough to warrant police investigation, or they think nothing can be done,” Mr McKechnie said.

“Our network of rural crime investigators is working very hard to change that perception and I can assure the community that they’re in capable hands, and a thorough and professional investigative service is available to assist if required.”

To access information brochures with crime prevention strategies addressing a range of key rural crime issues, visit:

If you have information about rural crime please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page:

Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

You can also make a report to a rural crime investigator by contacting your local police station.

Media Release: October, 25, 2016