Rural crime is an ongoing concern for many farmers with losses attributed to stolen livestock and fuel costing New South Wales an estimated $13.8 million between 2010 and 2014.
But are our current laws and policies sufficient to combat it? And does the law and criminal justice response meet community expectations when it comes to dealing with rural crime?
The University of New England’s School of Law is holding a conference on Rural Crime and the Law to examine the efficacy of current laws and policy relating to rural crime and the law to identify what works and what does not, where the gaps exist between the law and community expectations, and seek ways to improve policy and practice.
Conference organiser, Associate Professor Elaine Barclay, has previously studied the impact of rural crime on primary producers. Her findings have been instrumental in appeals to the NSW government to allocate more resources to police farm crime.
“Rural crime cannot be addressed in isolation. We have to look at how efforts around policing, prosecuting and punishing offenders, as well as new policy and practices, relate to the social context in which the crimes take place,” A/Prof. Barclay said.
”We have a great line-up of Australian and international speakers to address key topics concerning law practice in rural areas including John Nicholson SC, Magistrate Chris Bone, Professor Russell Hogg, Professor Diana Eades, and Deputy Commissioner Gary Woyboys from the NSW Police”.
It is a conference that will be of particular interest to academics, police, lawyers, magistrates, environmentalists, service providers, government agencies and policy makers as well as farmers and agribusinesses.
The Rural Crime and Law Conference will run from the 29th to 30th November. For more information and to register go to: https://www.une.edu.au/rural-law-conference.