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