Inspector Michael Wurth is calling for Gunnedah residents to remain vigilant despite falls in theft reports

TEAM EFFORT: Inspector Micheal Wurth, pictured left with Senior Sergeant Mick Timms, is urging locals to stay vigilant as the Gunnedah theft rate decreases from December to January this year. Photo: Billy Jupp
TEAM EFFORT: Inspector Micheal Wurth, pictured left with Senior Sergeant Mick Timms, is urging locals to stay vigilant as the Gunnedah theft rate decreases from December to January this year. Photo: Billy Jupp

GUNNEDAH police say there has been a 50 per cent drop in thefts in January 2018 from the month before.

December 2017 saw a considerable spike in the number of stealing incidents in the Gunnedah area with the majority of reports occurring in residential areas of the town.

Gunnedah Inspector Michael Wurth told the Namoi Valley Independent the decrease was due to residents securing their property but locals should continue to be diligent.

“Though your local police identifying areas of concern and are making more frequent patrols in those areas, the community can assist greatly by ensuring their vehicles are locked and property around their house is stored away securely,” Inspector Wurth said.

“Stopping offences in Gunnedah is not just the job of police, every community member has a part to play by ensuring they take reasonable steps to safeguard their property and to also report suspicious activity.”

Social media has assisted the police during their investigations but Inspector Wurth has reminded locals to use social media platforms responsibly.

“I respect the right of people to use social media and it is an important platform for the NSW Police Force,” he said.

“However, I do caution against ill-informed comments on social media as they can provide a false perception of crime levels which in itself can be damaging, causing un-necessary angst for residents.” 

The officer-in-charge of Gunnedah is also reminding local businesses to be vigilant after a spate of counterfeit $50 notes were passed over the counter at Gunnedah fast-food outlets such as KFC and McDonalds.

“The $50 notes that have been seized in Gunnedah in fact have foreign writing on them and have a number of other identifiable differences from the genuine Australian $50 note,” he said.

“Counter operators in particular should examine notes at the point of sale and contact police if the note appears non-genuine.”

Meanwhile, Inspector Wurth said a recent spate of drink-driving incidents in Gunnedah where drivers have exceeded the legal driving limit had been disappointing given the current NSW road toll.

“This is a disappointing result,” he said.

“The death toll on NSW roads in 2017 was the worst for some years and already in 2018, we have lost 28 people to road-related accidents.”

He said Gunnedah police will continue to crack down on drink drivers in the area.

“People simply need to get the message that driving whilst under the influence of alcohol and drugs, including some prescribed medications, is simply inexcusable,” he said.

“Police will continue to conduct random testing and place offending drivers before the courts.”

In an unrelated matter, police recently arrested and charged a 22-year-old Gunnedah man with offences relating to possession of illegal weapons not being firearms.

Earlier this month a search was conducted at the man’s house where a number of items were seized.

Following investigations, the man was arrested on Saturday where he was subsequently charged and refused bail to appear at Tamworth Local Court on February 12.

Anybody looking to report suspicious behavior should contact either the Gunnedah Police Station on 6742-9099 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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