Opinion: Regional police have it tough, but they also do it best.

Rural police work is the perfect initiation for the working life as a New South Wales police officer.

Fresh recruits from the academy are generally stationed in regional areas, as an initiation of sorts.

It’s partly because many of the more experienced officers prefer to prioritise city-based rounds.

But it’s also because bush policing provides more of the most challenging scenarios a NSW police officer can face.

Murders, traffic accidents burglaries are generally expected to be a more frequent occurance for an inner-city officer.

But while the MIA also has its fair share of crime, there are other factors our local police have to take into account when they’re on the beat.

The tyranny of distance quite often means long stretches on the road, and more time spent with fellow officers – a relationship-building task.


It’s a unique aspect of rural crime fighting offers opportunities to build a tighter and more cohesive group.

Perhaps one of the most important challenges for recruits is understanding the necessity of having a healthy relationship with the community.

Griffith LAC was confronted with a sticky situation this week - a standoff with am uncooperative resident.

It saw a main arterial road blocked for several hours, and residents were restricted from entering the area.

Chief Inspector John Wadsworth said what he and his command appreciated was people staying out of the way, and if they had to ask a question, they went to the command post.


“Good on Griffith for helping us out,” he said.

Respect is valuable in a town where police are often recognised in uniform and as civilians, and personal relationships and a positive rapport means regional police can always provide more opportunities for ugly situations to produce peaceful outcomes.

It can also work with the opposite results, where grudges can be held against certain officers or the police as a whole.

It means forming relationships with the community is one of the most important aspects of setting the tone for how budding officers should go about their duty.

It’s pleasing to see the amount of community contact and positive relationships our local LAC has with individual members of the towns they service.