SUPPORT FOR PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO RURAL & REGIONAL CRIME

SUPPORT FOR PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO RURAL & REGIONAL CRIME

Photo caption: Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, with NSW Country Mayors Association Chairman Jamie Chaffey supporting a call to establish a Parliamentary Inquiry into regional, rural and remote crime today. 

Thursday, 19 October 2023

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today put his full support behind a push from the NSW Country Mayors and NSW Police Associations for a parliamentary inquiry into regional, rural, and remote crime.

Mr Marshall met with Country Mayors Association Chairman, Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey, today in State Parliament and said an in-depth inquiry into the causes and remedies to a spike in crime across country NSW was warranted.

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

“Just as we saw with the health system last year, I believe the time has well and truly come for a root-and-branch review of rural crime and policing to ensure we have the resources and strategies we need to guarantee the safety and well-being of country communities.”

Mr Marshall said an inquiry would help shine the spotlight many issues rural and regional communities, including those across the Northern Tablelands, were facing.

“Sadly, we are all too aware of the alarming statistics for vehicle theft, serious break and enters, damage to property and assault offences,” Mr Marshall said.

“We now have statistics to back this up, with rates of crime substantially higher in regional, rural, and remote communities compared to our city counterparts, but with substantially less police per head of population than any other State or Territory in Australia

“Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research data also highlights the problem is exacerbated by inadequate police resources in some of our communities.”

Mr Marshall said following a recent and terrifying spate of crime in Moree, an inquiry couldn’t come at a better time.

“I have seen video footage of vicious, malicious, break-and-enters that terrifies me and the community,” he said.

“People need to feel safe in their own homes, particularly the elderly and the vulnerable, and we should be doing everything we can to ensure this happens.”

Mr Marshall said the Police Association of New South Wales and NSW Farmers also supported the Country Mayors Association’s request for an inquiry.

“We need more police in our regions, more resources, and we need to do as much as we can to ensure people feel safe,” Mr Marshall said.

“I’m backing the call for a parliamentary inquiry and will be doing everything I can to ensure one is established next month when Parliament returns.”

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