"Tell us what you know": Crime Stoppers' message to the Hawkesbury

Peter Price, Director of Crime Stoppers; with Hawkesbury Police Area Commander, Superintendent Jim Stewart; and Rob Forsyth, Director of NSW Crime Stoppers. Picture: Sarah Falson
Peter Price, Director of Crime Stoppers; with Hawkesbury Police Area Commander, Superintendent Jim Stewart; and Rob Forsyth, Director of NSW Crime Stoppers. Picture: Sarah Falson

The team from Crime Stoppers joined Hawkesbury Police Area Command at the Hawkesbury Show to get the message out about their efforts tackling rural crime and how the community can help.

Crime Stoppers is run by a volunteer board, and its main function is working with the media to bring awareness to communities that the police are on their side.

"A fear for people living in a small town is that if I call the cops they might recognise my voice," said Rob Forsyth, Director of NSW Crime Stoppers.

He said when calling Crime Stoppers, callers could remain anonymous.

Hawkesbury Police Area Commander, Superintendent Jim Stewart, said rural crime was "a huge thing in the Hawkesbury area".

He said in 80 per cent of cases when farmers were affected by rural crime, including stock theft, they were repeat victims.

He also said the effect of rural crime to farmers was $22.5 million over five years, and the flow on effect was a cost of $60 million to the economy.

Rural Crime Detective Senior Constable David Boylan said prevention was the best strategy, and appealed to the community to call Crime Stoppers if they saw something.

"Come talk to us, tell us what you know. You report it and we'll come back to you," he said.

Peter Price, Director of Crime Stoppers, said the roadshow with the Rural Crime department was launched at the Hawkesbury Show and would be travelling around the state until the end of the year.

"If you think it'll go to a local police station and they'll recognise your voice, that won't happen," he said.

"If you keep it a secret, we can't help you."

Superintendent Steward said rural crime in the Hawkesbury included stock theft, hunting, and trespass.

"Good fencing is really important, as is securing vehicles and fuel, feed - that will help reduce crime in the region," he said.

"Also making sure animals are readily identifiable."

He said the message to the Hawkesbury was that it was a safe place but it "could be safer".

"Ring Crime Stoppers. It helps build the intelligence factor," he said.