The Government's announcement that it will crack down on livestock rustling is a step in the right direction, however, more needs to be done to protect rural communities, says Rural Women New Zealand.
"The announcement from the Minister of Justice, Hon Andrew Little that he has introduced a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) which makes changes to the Crimes Amendment Bill to crack down on rustling is only one tool in the crime prevention toolbox," says national president, Fiona Gower.
"Livestock rustling is the bane of every rural community and we are pleased the Government has heard our calls for support.
"However, recent news about the reduction in hours in some regional police stations means that crime will continue to be an issue for rural communities.
"If this Government was really serious about rural crime prevention and resolution they would ensure sufficient numbers of rural police, ensure police stations which service rural New Zealand are open when they are most needed, and ensure every rural family has the technology they need to contact emergency services.
"RWNZ applauds the proposed SOP, however, our rural communities will not be safe until they have 24/7 police support and better access to technology," says Fiona.