Crime Stoppers turn rural

Anecdotal evidence suggests rural crime is underreported, but a new initiative from Crime Stoppers Queensland seeks to change the mindset around farm crime. Picture: CRIME STOPPERS QLD

Crime Stoppers Queensland launched a campaign to remind Queenslanders in rural areas the importance of reporting farm-related crime on Wednesday, May 8.

Farm crime may include livestock theft, theft of materials like tools, machinery or equipment, illegal hunting and fishing, theft of homes, illegal dumping, theft of fuel and more.

The campaign will employ a strategic mix of grassroots local community engagement activities, local media stories, and marketing activities.

Crime Stoppers Queensland, with support from AgForce Queensland and the Queensland Police Service, will also work to establish a Rural Crime Advisory Group (RCAG).

The RCAG will help communicate how crime is impacting rural communities and help connect support providers with victims of crime.

Queensland Police Service Rural and Stock Crime Squad Detective Acting Inspector David Briese said reporting criminal activity was vital to both solving and preventing crimes from affecting rural communities.

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that rural crime is underreported,” DAI Briese said.

“The issue with unreported crime is that we cannot fully appreciate or respond to it.

“It’s also an issue when the crime is reported late as we cannot then utilise our resources in a timely way providing the criminals responsible with opportunity to cover their tracks and avoid detection.”

DAI Briese said QPS needed rural communities to work with the Rural and Stock Crime Squad by reporting what happened as soon as they were aware of it.

“Your information could be what helps identify the people involved in rural crime activity and prevent further offences from occurring,” he said.

This initiative from Crime Stoppers Queensland marks the beginning of a long-term approach, requiring ongoing effort and solutions.

It sets the stage for sustained engagement with rural farmers and an ongoing commitment to support the wider community.

Crime Stoppers Queensland emphasises the importance of reporting all forms of rural crime.

By sharing information about incidents or suspicious behaviour, the community can help law enforcement in addressing these issues more effectively.

It’s this momentum and increase in understanding that will support the long-term challenges associated with underreporting farm-related crimes.

Crime Stoppers Queensland CEO David Hansen reminded those in rural communities not to rely on others to report crime.

“If you don’t report these crimes, who will?” Mr Hansen said.

“If you see something, say something.

“Remaining silent means criminals can continue vandalising others.”

The campaign is funded by Crime Stoppers Queensland and will run for an initial period of five months.

Rural crime costs the Australian economy millions of dollars each year and is believed to be underreported.

Many farmers who experienced rural crime were repeat victims.

In an emergency, call 000.

If you’re reporting a crime call 131 444.

For all anonymous reporting of crime and suspicious activity, contact Crime Stoppers Queensland on 1800 333 000 or visit crimestoppersqld.com.au/make-a-report