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Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Warning issued to looters targeting bushfire victims

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The NSW Police Force has issued a stern warning following unconfirmed reports on social media of stealing offences within bushfire-affected areas of NSW.

While police have not received any complaints of theft from the community, and no investigations are currently active, police are warning that criminal behaviour will not be tolerated.

State Emergency Operations Controller (SEOCON), Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys APM, said it was deeply concerning to think that anyone would use the bushfire emergency to target vulnerable members of the community.

‘These communities have suffered enough without individuals stealing what items they have left,’ said Deputy Commissioner Worboys.

‘Local police numbers are being bolstered by the Public Order and Riot Squad, the Police Transport Command, and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command to ensure regular patrols are conducted throughout the bushfire affected areas.

‘Any reports of looting or other criminal acts will be thoroughly investigated. If you choose to partake in this type of behaviour, you will face the full force of the law.

‘I also ask members of the community to be vigilant – if you see a crime being committed, call Triple Zero immediately,’ he said.

Anyone who has information about suspected looting or other illegal activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.

For all updated bushfire information, visit: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.


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