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New Livestock and Rural Crime Squad to help protect farmers’ assets

State Liberal Member for Eildon Cindy McLeish MP has announced that a Liberal Government will establish a new Livestock and Rural Crime Squad to specialise in dealing with rural crime including farm and livestock theft.

“Stock theft is becoming a huge business for criminals and its hurting hard working families on the land. That’s why a Liberal Government will take action on farm and livestock thefts to help protect local businesses,” Ms McLeish said.

The proposed Livestock and Rural Crime Squad will be based throughout regional Victoria with Victoria Police informing the final operational structure of the specialist unit.

The program will include the creation of 20 new specialist rural crime investigators, boosting currently dedicated rural crime police numbers by 40 per cent.

“These 20 new investigation positions will merge with the existing Livestock and Farm Crime Specialist Group and the 48 Agricultural Liaison Officers (AGLOs) to create the new Livestock and Rural Crime Squad,” Ms McLeish said.

Across regional Victoria, instances of stock theft rose 40% in 2017 and between April 2017 and March 2018 there were 232 instances of ‘Burglary/Break and Enter’ and ‘Theft’ offences recorded where livestock were stolen. Just 10 of these crimes resulted in an arrest or summons.

“A Liberal Government will send a strong message to potential criminals that if they are thinking about farm and livestock theft you will get caught and you will get punished.”

“Victoria’s agricultural industry can’t afford another four more years of Daniel Andrews and Labor’s lack of action on farm and livestock theft,” Ms McLeish concluded.

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