Commenting, Carla Lockhart said:
“The reduction in rural crime in Northern Ireland over the last year is welcome. This is reflective of a greater awareness in rural communities of the threat of crime, and subsequent steps taken to protect property. Credit must also go to the PSNI and local Policing and Community Safety Partnerships for their pro-active approach to deterring rural crime.
Of course more can always be done. Vigilance is vital in tackling criminals, and the Farm Watch scheme is an effective tool in making our rural communities safer. It is easy to sign up to and the benefits for members are clear. Securing property and machinery is also important, and with ongoing improvement in technology it is also worthwhile to explore how high value items can have trackers fitted, or marked through trailer or quad marking schemes that many local PCSPs promote across Northern Ireland. I know of several examples of machinery being retrieved because of trackers or markings.
We want Northern Ireland to be a safe place to live and to do business, in urban and rural communities. My hope is that the next twelve months will see a further reduction in rural crime. “