Hume Police District hires former shearer as new rural crime investigator

Hume Police District welcomes Rural Crime Investigator Dale Croker

News
Aa

Senior Constable Croker is one of two new rural crime investigators deployed to southern NSW.

Growing up on the land has given Hume Police District's new rural crime investigator a firsthand understanding of rural issues.

Aa
The Hume Police District's Rural Crime Investigators, Detective Senior Constable Michael Calleja and Senior Constable Dale Croker, at the South Eastern Livestock Exchange in Yass. Photo: supplied

The Hume Police District's Rural Crime Investigators, Detective Senior Constable Michael Calleja and Senior Constable Dale Croker, at the South Eastern Livestock Exchange in Yass. Photo: supplied

Senior Constable Dale Croker was raised on a small farm owned by his parents in the district and still lives on a small local property farming sheep.

Before joining the police force in 2008, Senior Constable Croker was a shearer and maintained his interest in rural crime as an officer.

He is one of two new rural crime investigators deployed to southern NSW in a bid to combat stock theft, trespassing, illegal hunting and firearm theft.

NSW Police Minister David Elliott announced their deployments along with four other new rural crime investigators in different areas of the state at Dubbo saleyards last July.

Senior Constable Croker has returned to Goulburn Police Station where he carried out general duties for two years before moving to Tuena as Lockup Keeper for the past three years. He joins rural crime investigator of five years, Detective Senior Constable Michael Calleja, at Goulburn.

"I believe being a shearer and growing up on the land has put me in good stead to succeed as a rural crime investigator as it has given me a greater understanding of rural issues and how farmers operate their farming enterprises," Senior Constable Croker said.

Senior Constable Croker's deployment will increase the investigation capability of what was previously a single rural crime unit at Goulburn.

"It will increase the number of rural crime operations we conduct with the Hume Police District, targeting livestock, equipment theft and illegal hunting," Detective Senior Constable Calleja said.

"It will also increase our attendance and inspections at saleyards, wool dealers and livestock carriers as well as enhance our relationships with rural stakeholders."

Senior Constable Croker said it would also allow them more time to get out into the field to speak with farmers about their issues.

"The main reported incidents of rural crime are theft of property/equipment (chainsaws, quad bikes and firearms), theft of livestock, illegal hunting and dog attacks on livestock," Detective Senior Constable Calleja and Senior Constable Croker said.

They encourage farmers to maintain and lock gateways, fences and sheds, ensure safe storage of firearms, maintain accurate livestock records and install surveillance devices.

"And report crime and suspicious activity to police," they said.

In the coming months, they will be attending saleyards more often to inspect the condition of livestock, National Vendor Compliance and livestock theft, the pair said.

They will also be checking compliance of safe storage of firearms on rural properties.

NSW Police rural crime prevention corporate sponsor, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie APM has previously urged the public to engage with their rural crime investigators to establish relationships well before a problem occurs.

"When people realise that there is someone working in their local police district that understands the language, what they're talking about, that is there, dedicated to look after their concerns around crime and safety - the things affecting their communities - we've seen people come on board, and we've urged that as well," Assistant Commissioner McKechnie.

Another four rural crime investigators would also be deployed to western and northern NSW, NSW Police Minister David Elliot said back in July.

The police force also has plans to establish a Rural Crime Prevention Team at Casino on the North Coast, comprising a team of sergeant and two investigators.

The other new southern NSW rural crime investigator will be located in Griffith with the Murrumbidgee Police District.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by