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 a rural crime inquiry despite NSW Country Mayors Association in support with NSW Police Association and NSW Farmers recently revealing that crime, law and order is now in the top five emerging issues for NSW.
Their research showed 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. We know 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."
Shadow Minister for Police Paul Toole said an inquiry was needed and was left disappointed by the minister's response.
"An inquiry would give us the answers we need to questions like what the core issues are and what our hardworking police need to combat this crime," Mr Toole said.
"This is a minister who is turning a blind eye to the issues at hand, especially if it doesn't apply to a metro area.
"This situation cannot go on, we can't have residents afraid to step out their front door. That's no way to live, and nobody deserves to feel that way.
"We need to ensure we have enough police on the ground, with the resources they need to proactively address and deter criminal activity and make rural areas a no-go-zone for potential wrongdoers.
"We need a bi-partisan supported inquiry to address regional and rural crime, it's that simple."
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