Queensland’s police stock squad has received a resourcing boost after taking delivery of three new purpose built cattle trucks.
The new trucks will be based with Stock and Rural Crime Investigation Squad (SARCIS) units in Toowoomba, Rockhampton and Mareeba.
The vehicles will allow officers to conduct proactive musters and to transport resources and equipment during natural disasters or to remote locations for search and rescue operations.
The delivery of the new trucks was announced by Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey and Agriculture Minister John McVeigh this week, and follows a recent strengthening of penalties by the Queensland Government to deter rural crime.
Detective Inspector Mick Dowie said the trucks met all the needs of the squad for the future.
“SARCIS investigates the theft of around 2000 head of cattle annually”
“SARCIS investigates the theft of around 2000 head of cattle annually along with sheep, goats and horses,” Detective Inspector Dowie said.
“At times, we can be managing hundreds of stock exhibits and we abide by the same animal welfare and bio-security management requirements as all pastoralists.
“The enactment of the new stock legislation, coupled with this significant investment in our equipment, reinforces our commitment to providing professional policing services to rural and remote Queenslanders.”
The cattle crates for the new trucks have been specifically designed as an operational platform for investigators with the assistance of Westco Truck Sales and Transport Engineering and Welding (TWE) Toowoomba.
Farmers urged to complete online rural crime survey
Meanwhile researchers at the University of New England are currently conducting a study of crime on farms in New South Wales and Queensland.
The last rural crime survey in NSW was conducted more than 10 years ago. That study highlighted a deficiency in rural crime fighting resources, and lead to an increase in capacity, with 33 Rural Crime Investigators and one Rural Crime Intelligence Analyst now working across NSW.
The UNE is undertaking a new survey in response to concerns raised by landholders about persistent crime on farms.
The survey is supported by police and farmer organisations in both states but remains under the independent control of the UNE and aims to identify the nature and extent of farm crime in these states.
It is expected that the findings will be used to guide future decisions for farmers, governments, police, courts and other agencies on measures to reduce the incidence of farm crime.
Farmers in Queensland and New South Wales are being encouraged to complete the online survey, which is expected to take between 15 and 30 minutes.
Detective Inspector Mick Dowie, State Co-ordinator of SARCIS, said the final report will assist the squad in identifying crime trends and developing crime prevention strategies.
“I urge all rural property owners, pastoralists and agriculturalists to complete and submit the on line survey via the link provided below,” Detective Inspector Dowie said.
The survey can be accessed here.
For more information about the study or requests for hard copies of the survey, please email Dr Elaine Barclay (email@example.com) or call 0412 053 415.