South Australian Conservatives MLC Rob Brokenshire has renewed his calls for a SA Police 'Stock Squad' as his FOI search revealed just 14 people charged over 7 years.
Mr Brokenshire has for many years advocated for police action on stock theft, directly resulting in the commencement of 'Operation Poach'. The SA Police initiative was designed to focus resources on the issue rather than a dedicated squad.
"In the past seven years only 14 people have been charged with stock theft, only six of those served time and two others had a conviction recorded but walked away from court, one with a fine and the other without," Mr Brokenshire said, "I'd be almost sure there [are] a lot more than 14 people, but the problem is being able to discover who the thieves are and then charge them. The financial cost of theft to the industry has doubled in the past few years and yet there is little movement when it comes to catching the people who cost the livestock industry millions of dollars each year."
Mr Brokenshire appeared in SA regional newspapers making the call for better resourced police targeting of stock theft.
The ABC noted that prices for sheep meat, wool and beef are all rising, making stock theft more attractive.
You can read the full ABC report here.