Community must adapt to changing criminal landscape

Inspector Stephen Radford.

The crime environment in the Tumut region has changed in the past few years according to Detective Inspector Stephen Radford.

“We are no longer a quiet country town – as far as policing goes,” he said.

“Similar to other rural parts of NSW, we have suffered from the impacts of ‘ice’ and methamphetamine use in our community.

“We have seen the impact this has had on our youth and subsequent irrational and irresponsible behaviours it causes.”

Break and entering in the Snowy Valleys Local Government area is double the NSW rate according to the latest Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research’s report.

The figures are based on information derived from the NSW Police Force Computerised Operational Computing System (COPS).

The statistics reveal that break and entering dwelling is 2.2 times the NSW rate, break and entering a non-dwelling is 2.3 times the NSW rate and stealing from a motor vehicle is twice the state rate.

The ratio to NSW rates is a comparison of a regional rate per 100,000 population.

“Our country naivety has, in effect, been taken advantage of as unlocked homes and vehicles are targeted by opportunistic offenders,” said Detective Inspector Radford.

“We have also continually driven the message across in relation to locking houses and vehicles through the local media to reduce these type of crimes.

“We also regularly appeal to the community for information and act on it and are grateful for their invaluable support.”

The report stated that public willingness to report crime is just one of the factors which can affect trends in reporting crimes.

Only those incidents which are reported to, or detected by police are included.

According to the report, shifts in policing policy can also have a marked effect on the number of

recorded drug offences, cases of offensive behaviour or of receiving stolen goods.

Detective Inspector Radford said the local police now work a more flexible roster – with no set pattern for offenders to plan around.

“People will see general duty police officers do regular Mobile Random Breath Testing at all times of the day and night and in and around the back streets of our smaller sectors and this will continue,” he said.

“Now we are attached to the Riverina Policing District we will have access to a greater pool of resources to deploy across our Tumut Cluster that extends all the way to Khancoban and the Victorian border.”

Detective Inspector Radford said the police were also working closely with the Snowy Valleys Council with regards to crime prevention strategies and Closed Circuit Television, which is on the agenda for the next council meeting.

“Moving forward we want to maintain a clear community focus and incorporate your needs into our tasking and deployment model,” he said.

A range of community engagement opportunities will be held this year where the public will be able to speak to the local police and let them know what you think.

“From a policing perspective we continue to do what we have always done – and that is do not tolerate poor behaviours and target and take action against offenders,” Detective Inspector Steve Radford said.