Crackdown on crime

Detective Senior Sergeant Jim Lacey, QPS Rural and Stock Crime Squad Southern, David Hansen, CEO Crime Stoppers Qld and Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Elliot from QPS Rural and Stock Crime Squad Northern. Picture: CONTRIBUTED.

Crime Stoppers has launched a campaign to remind Queenslanders living rurally the importance of reporting farm-related crime.

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

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

Crime Stoppers Queensland CEO David Hansen said sharing information about incidents or suspicious behaviour allowed the community to help law enforcement address these issues more effectively.

“It’s this momentum and increase in understanding that will support the long-term challenges associated with under-reporting farm-related crimes,” he said.

Reasons for under-reporting, according to Mr Hansen, include farmers’ resilience, a sense of futility if their evidence is inadequate and wanting to avoid issues with neighbours who may be responsible.

He said lack of data due to under-reporting made it difficult for police to allocate resources and address rural crime issues effectively.

“If you don’t report these crimes, who will? If you see something, say something. Remaining silent means criminals can continue impacting others,” Mr Hansen said.

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

“Anecdotal evidence suggests that rural crime is under-reported,” Mr 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.

“We need the rural community to work with us and to report what has happened as soon as they become aware of it.

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

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.

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.

“Strategies discussed include involving the Country Women’s Association, businesses such as hotels, agronomists who regularly interact with farmers and putting messages on beer coasters to help spread the word,“ Mr Hansen said.

Rural crime costs the Australian economy millions of dollars each year, with anecdotal evidence suggesting many farmers who experience rural crime are repeat victims.

* To report a crime call 131 444.

* For all anonymous reporting of crime and suspicious activity, contact Crime Stoppers Queensland on 1800 333 000 or