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Rural crime operation - Hunter Valley PD

Tuesday, 09 November 2021 03:06:53 PM

The Hunter Valley Police District Rural Crime Prevention team have completed a three-day operation targeting illegal hunting, trespassing and stock movements.

Operation Fleece commenced last Friday (5 November 2021) and ran until Sunday (7 November 2021), covering areas such as Merriwa, Murrurundi, Scone, Willow Tree, Cassilis, Ulan, Wollar, and Dunedoo.

The operation involved officers from the Rural Crime Prevention Teams from Coffs/Clarence, Orana-Mid Western, Chifley, Oxley and Hunter Valley Police Districts, as well general duties officers and detectives from Hunter Valley Police District, and the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.

Police were also assisted throughout the three-day operation by the Department of Primary Industries (Gaming and Licensing Unit).

During the operation, police conducted three vehicle searches, five rural property inspections, 14 safe storage inspections, and 40 roadside breath tests resulting in nine charges.

In addition, police issued four people with a Court Attendance Notice (CAN), and 15 Companion Animal Act infringements.

Incidents of note include:

  • A man has been issued a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) following an investigation into reports of trespassing. Police were told on Friday 24 September 2021, a photo was taken of a man posing on a property on Springfield Road, Merriwa. Following inquires, a 20-year-old man was spoken to by police and issued a CAN for hunt on private land without authority and enter inclosed lands.

  • A man has been charged following an investigation into a trespassing offence at Wisemans Creek in July this year. Police were told a fence was cut and a man was observed chopping firewood on a property. He allegedly drove from the scene in a Ford Ranger. Following inquiries, police spoke to a 22-year-old man who was issued a CAN for enter inclosed lands and larceny.

  • A truck driver was issued a Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN) under the Local Land Services Act after failing to supply the mandatory paperwork needed to transport 120 head of cattle from Casino to Merriwa.

Hunter Valley Police District Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Matthew Zimmer, says the operation demonstrates the commitment of police to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of rural communities.

“The goal of these operations is to prevent and reduce crime by targeting illegal hunting, trespassing and theft from rural properties. Activities focused on compliance, with several livestock carrier and firearms safe storage inspections,” Det Insp Zimmer said.

“The operation gave us the opportunity to strengthen community engagement and our existing partnerships with local farmers and the community.

“Our Rural Crime Prevention Team are specialist investigators who have the trust of the community to report rural crime knowing that it will be followed up,” Det Insp Zimmer said.

Similar operations will be conducted in the future.