A Liberal Nationals Government will establish a new Livestock and Rural Crime Squad to specialise in dealing with rural crime including farm and livestock theft, says member for Benambra Bill Tilley.
A Liberal Nationals Government will work with Victoria Police to establish a dedicated Livestock and Rural Crime Squad with 20 new specialist rural crime investigators. The allocation of 20 new specialist roles will boost dedicated rural crime police numbers by 40 per cent.
Stock theft is becoming a huge business for criminals and its hurting hard working families on the land.
Instances of stock theft rose 40% in 2017 and between April 2017 and March 2018 there were 232 instances of ‘Burglary/Break and Enter’ and ‘Theft’ offences recorded where livestock were stolen. Just 10 of these crimes resulted in an arrest or summons.
The Livestock and Rural Crime Squad will be based throughout regional Victoria. Victoria Police will inform the final operational structure of the specialist unit, however the roles will be located in regional Victoria, ensuring members will be working in the rural communities they will be protecting.
These 20 new investigation positions will merge with the existing Livestock and Farm Crime Specialist Group and the 48 Agricultural Liaison Officers (AGLOs) to create the new Livestock and Rural Crime Squad.
Comments attributable to member for Benambra Bill Tilley:
“I’ve lobbied hard within the Coalition and spoken on the floor of the Parliament several times to have this issue acknowledged, to have people understand that the present system just doesn’t work.
“What we had were officers forced to juggle the demands of their regular policing with what are increasingly sophisticated and complex rural crime.
“Labor just didn’t get it – they don’t understand regional Victoria.
“The stories I’m hearing are that some of the stock losses are approaching $1 million and yet it doesn’t make the headlines.
“Specialist officers dedicated to these issues will help us identify, prosecute and finally bring these criminals to justice.”
Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:
“The skyrocketing numbers of farm and livestock thefts aren’t just statistics; they are the livelihoods of families which is why I am so determined to get tough on these crimes.
"A Liberal Nationals Government will muscle-up on farm and livestock thefts.
"A Livestock and Rural Crime Squad will give the Police the resources they need to put more focus on farm and livestock thefts and protect the livelihoods of our farmers.
"Daniel Andrews and his regional Labor MPs don’t seem to think farm and livestock thefts are an issue and after nearly four years they still haven’t done anything about it.
"A Liberal Nationals Government will keep all Victorians safe and secure.”
Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Peter Walsh:
“Daniel Andrews is the Premier for Melbourne, the Liberal Nationals will govern for all of Victoria. At the moment because of Labor’s cuts to police, there are only ever a handful of arrests made for farm and livestock theft and that sends a message to criminals that they can probably get away with it.
"A Liberal Nationals Government will send a strong message to potential criminals that if they are thinking about farm and livestock theft you will get caught and you will get punished.
"Victoria’s agricultural industry can’t afford another four more years of Daniel Andrews and Labor’s lack of action on farm and livestock theft.”
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