The call by 84 councils for more to be done to stop crime in rural and regional areas of NSW has not been enough to sway NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley to support a parliamentary inquiry.
The minister has said she will not support an inquiry into crime, law and order in rural and regional NSW despite a report by NSW Country Mayors Association, supported by NSW Police Association and NSW Farmers, with research showing up to 90 per cent of crimes including vehicle theft, breaking and entering, sexual assault and domestic assault are happening in regional communities.
Ms Catley said police are already addressing these issues.
"I've visited regional towns since becoming Police Minister and spoken to community groups, I am aware of the issues they're raising," she said.
"We don't need a parliamentary inquiry for politicians to tell us there's a problem. There's a problem and police are addressing it.
"For example, Operation Mongoose is part of their ongoing strategy to reduce crime in regional communities and 96 people have been charged with more than 159 offences since the operation began in late September.
"Where there's a need, police will respond.
"We know police can surge resources; officers are highly mobile, adaptable and can respond to incidents right across their local district to meet the needs of all communities day and night."
Country Mayors Association chairman, Mayor Jamie Chaffey said the minister's response was "arrogant".
"Unfortunately, the minister and the premier both said that they don't support an inquiry, which is really disappointing," Mr Chaffey said.
"To hear the police minister come out and say 'we already know there is a problem, we have all the answers and we're going to fix them is arrogant.
"These issues haven't happened overnight.
"The data that's in our report is collected over a five year period and the current year which shows that crime's been a consistent issue.
"The crime rates are increasing and more needs to be done.
"We're extremely disappointed in the attitude of the state government not backing the calls from the people who are the ones that are affected."
Mr Chaffey said an inquiry could be a real benefit.
"One of the significant benefits of having an inquiry with hearings in regional communities is that not only is there the data we've got in the report, but the MPs that will come out and hold the hearings will hear practically what the lived experiences are of people in regional communities who are the ones that are affected by this increasing crime," he said.
"To hear this attitude of 'we've got all the answers' from the police minister, I don't think she even knows all the problems and to think they've got all the answers is extremely disappointing and, to me, quite arrogant".
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