CONTINUING to crack down on crime, engaging with the community and “locking up crooks” are among the main goals of new Shoalhaven Police Local Area Commander, Superintendent Steve Hegarty.
Supt Hegarty has taken over the top job from Supt Joe Cassar, who is now in charge of the Wollongong command.
The Shoalhaven is not new to the superintendent, who was a general duties officer in the area from 1994 to 2007, starting out at Milton and rising to the rank of sergeant in charge of the local highway patrol for the last five years of his stay.
He said proactive policing, with more officers visible on the beat, was another of his goals including some “old fashioned policing” and “locking up crooks”.
“Having looked at the police, the tasking and results I don’t see any major issues here,” he said.
“I see a lot of young keen police who have a good workrate.
“There is a perception crime is out of control and clearly it’s not.
“Of course, drugs are an issue, as they are in most regions of the state. It is a clear focus, not just here in the Shoalhaven but statewide and federally. Every police station in NSW is tackling it - ice and other drugs.
“It’s not just a police issue, it’s a community issue as well.
“As the commissioner said, we can’t arrest our way out of it. There has to be more processes in place and if we work to a plan with the federal government and NSW premier we will work in the right direction.”
He acknowledged the success of last year’s Strike Force Croci, cracking down on illegal drugs in the Shoalhaven and said operations were ongoing.
“Dob in a Dealer will be launched through Crime Stoppers later this month and again I urge the community to continue to provide information,” he said.
“We rely heavily on the community for information and we want that to continue. We want information on local drug activities or any other crime.
“All information is treated seriously and confidentially.”
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