Farewell, and thanks: Departing top cop pays tribute to colleagues

IMPACT: Orange's top cop Superintendent Shane Cribb will leave Orange at the end of the week to become Superintendent for Manning-Great Lakes Local Area Command. Photo: DECLAN RURENGA 1201drcribb5
IMPACT: Orange's top cop Superintendent Shane Cribb will leave Orange at the end of the week to become Superintendent for Manning-Great Lakes Local Area Command. Photo: DECLAN RURENGA 1201drcribb5

Canobolas Local Area Commander Superintendent Shane Cribb is passionate about reducing property crime.

At the end of this week, he’ll bid farewell to the officers he’s served with for more than two years, taking with him the knowledge his passion has helped to produce results for the Orange community.

According to the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, break and enters and thefts from homes in the Canobolas Local Area Command (LAC) have halved since Superintendent Cribb’s tenure in the city started in April, 2015.

A few months after arriving he made it the entire command’s goal to reduce property crime. That they were able to achieve that goal is, according to Superintendent Cribb, a tribute to the hard work and drive of the officers of the command.

“I’m pretty passionate about it – the average person goes to work day-in and day-out to purchase a TV or a motor vehicle and to have a criminal just come and take it from under them, it really irks me,” he said.

“Since I’ve been here, crime has reduced, not because of myself but because of the great job the local police do.”

Targeting property crime meant creating a dedicated property squad, starting crime prevention weeks, and focusing on the causes of property crime, including the scourge of illegal drugs.

“I won’t put up with drugs,” Superintendent Cribb said simply.

“People steal property to support their drug habits, so we try and attack that from both angles.”

HELP FOR YOUTH AND RURAL RESIDENTS A PRIORITY

SUPERINTENDENT Cribb said preventing young people from entering the justice system was important and a key part of overall crime prevention.

“For us to do that here, we have built a number of multi-agency committees and groups where together we’re actively working to get to the bottom of youth crime issues,” he said.

That means putting support mechanisms in place to prevent youngsters becoming involved in crime.

“We’re trying to look at signs or triggers where we can identify if they’re susceptible, let’s get [to] them before they get there,” he said.

“Once they’re in it, we’ll try and get them into programs to get them out of it, but my focus is let’s try and get them before they get there.

“The more crimes we prevent, the less work for the police and then there’s fewer upset community members.”

As technology becomes more readily available, Superintendent Cribb said more work was needed to combat fraud, including running “a couple of fraud forums where we had experts in”.

On Christmas night we’ll all be in bed tucked up with our families, but there will still be the five or six cops that are out at three o’clock in the morning protecting us.

Departing Canobolas Local Area Commander Superintendent Shane Cribb

More recently, he said officers had been targeting rural crime, working with landholders to prevent it.

“People go hunting illegally on properties and they knock fences down. For that poor farmer or occupier – that’s a monetary loss,” Superintendent Cribb said, adding that act was no different to someone walking home drunk from the pub and vandalising a letterbox.

That’s seen officers going door-to-door in rural areas to help people protect their property, but Superintendent Cribb said more could be done by rural residents willingly sharing information with police.

He said while it might not be immediately obvious to the public, all information was acted upon.

CANOBOLAS OFFICERS THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS

OVER the course of his career Superintendent Cribb has been posted to Cobar, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Sydney.

With that breadth of experience under his belt he had no hesitation in labeling the Canobolas LAC officers under his command as “absolutely brilliant”.

“I think this command is in good stead,” the departing officer said.

“That’s not because of myself. We’ve got some good internal structures and mechanisms in place here so the command is heading in the right direction.

“I’m sure my successor will have a lot of fantastic ideas.”

Superintendent Cribb said his other priority in his time in Orange was ensuring the safety of his officers out in the field, whether they’re at an incident, on patrol or dealing with the public.

“It’s those people, and I can’t say it enough, that are out there day-in and day-out,” he said.

“On Christmas night we’ll all be in bed tucked up with our families, but there will still be the five or six cops that are out at three o’clock in the morning protecting us.

“Those police have got children of their own.”

He added un-sworn officers behind the scenes also deserved praise for supporting operational police.

Superintendent Cribb said the Canobolas LAC’s administration staff within the station itself were just as important as the uniformed officers on the beat and do a fantastic job in ensuring that the police are paid, given holidays, and – most importantly – provided with the tools they need to do their job.

Is he looking forward to his next posting or will he miss his Canobolas LAC colleagues?

Both, it seems.

“I’m happy and excited to be moving onto a new adventure, it’s sad to be leaving the good network of people here,” Superintendent Cribb said.