Policing the Outback

seminar presented by Steve Bradshaw

1pm Monday 14 September 2015

Arts Lecture Theatre 2, Building E11, UNE


Rural police everywhere in Australia deal with the same types of crimes experienced in urban centres, but also deal with specific rural crimes such as livestock theft and other theft from farms, large scale cannabis production, illegal fishing or hunting, and other environmental crimes. In addition to enforcing laws, officers are often called upon to assist in medical emergencies, conduct community education, crime prevention and youth programs, and manage special events. There are also a number of policing issues that are idiosyncratic to rural and remote areas. The physical isolation, substance abuse, violence, issues pertaining to Aboriginal people and the difficulties in attracting and retaining staff are the major challenges for policing in remote regions.  Rural police also need to be able to enlist the support of local residents to access information for crime-solving and determine enforcement priorities.  Officers also rely on support in emergencies from the local community, whether it is a pub brawl or a search of remote areas and consequently, rural officers must use discretion and keep the community on their side.


Assistant Commissioner Steve Bradshaw retired from NSW Police after more than four decades with the Force. He was Commander of the Western Region and a Corporate Spokesperson for Rural Crime and Aboriginal Issues. Throughout his career he strove to positively affect rural communities in NSW. Highlights of his career include:

  • Re-establishment of Rural Crime Investigators and the introduction of the National Livestock Identification System for cattle, through the Pastoral and Agricultural Crime Working Party
  • building strong cross-border relationships with Queensland, South Australia and Victoria Police Forces, to amend legislation to enhance policing of border towns.
  • addressing interstate drug trafficking with concentrated operations along the Region’s highways, and introduction of the IPROWD program in partnership with TAFE to increase Aboriginal Employment in NSW Police Force.