MARSHALL DOUBLES DOWN ON CALL FOR RURAL & REGIONAL CRIME INQUIRY

MARSHALL DOUBLES DOWN ON CALL FOR RURAL & REGIONAL CRIME INQUIRY

Photo caption: Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, with NSW Country Mayors Association Jamie Chaffey, calling on the government to take immediate action on the rural and regional crime crisis.

Friday, 16 February 2024

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has doubled down on his calls for a parliamentary inquiry into crime in rural and regional NSW, following another recent spate of violent and distressing incidents across the region.

Mr Marshall said he has seen more video footage of recent malicious break and enters, robbery, and theft in a number of communities.

“It concerns me that we are still having the same conversation, still watching more footage of repeated offences, carries out by repeat offenders and still hearing of the same trauma as this time last year,” Mr Marshall said.

“In October last year, I put my full support behind a call from the Country Mayors Association for an urgent parliamentary inquiry into regional, rural, and remote crime.

“I met with Chairman and Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey in State Parliament, agreeing that an in-depth inquiry into the causes and remedies to a spike in crime across country NSW was warranted.

“The statistics clearly demonstrate that crime is substantially higher in regional, rural and remote communities compared to our city counterparts.

“The most recent data from the authorities show that youth crime continues to rise, especially for stealing motor vehicles and break and enter offences.

“This cannot go on and something has to be done.”

Mr Marshall said local police deserved to be “backed up” by government and the courts and the calls for the inquiry had drawn support recently from the NSW Country Women’s Association.

“Our men and women in blue across country NSW do a fantastic job, but the evidence is clear, crime is consistently on the rise across our regions and yet our police force is shrinking in numbers by comparison,” he said.

“I am flabbergasted by the Police Minister’s dismissive attitude toward the need for an inquiry and urgent action.

“We cannot continue on this trajectory with community members left traumatised and elderly residents scared to sleep in their own beds at night.

“Now is the time to send in the cavalry and get on top of this issue immediately, not put your head in the sand. We need a proper inquiry to delve into the underlying issues and long-term solutions to what is fast becoming a crisis in the bush.

“Just doing more of the same is no longer an option for our rural communities – it’s time for the government to act.”

Last week in Parliament, Mr Marshall also called for the Magistrate serving on the Inverell and Moree circuit to get tough on repeat juvenile offenders.

“This is obviously a multi-faceted issue – and a parliamentary inquiry would be a very good place to start to turn this around,” he said.

“I won’t let this issue go and I’ll keep fighting on behalf of our communities and our local police.”

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