South Antrim MLA Trevor Clarke has voiced concern over the issue of rural crime in the local area.
Mr Clarke said: “Rural crime has been an on-going issue for some time now and it is an issue that must not be swept under the carpet, but needs to be addressed by the Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice and the PSNI.”
Mr Clarke said he had “tried on numerous occasions” to organise a Farmwatch event to be held within South Antrim, however, he said the PSNI had advised himthat this was a not a successful event when they held it.
“This particular scheme encourages awareness of rural crime among farmers and other rural dwellers and aims to provide enhanced communication and cooperation both within rural and farming communities along with the PSNI,” Mr Clarke said.
he added: “Those who register for the scheme would receive regular text and email alerts regarding crime issues within the area and would be given specific ‘Farm Watch’ signage to erect on their farm as well as a security marking for their equipment.”
Mr Clarke continues “From living in rural area I was especially interested in the scheme as rural properties can often be vulnerable to burglary such as oil, machinery and livestock theft.
“Therefore if you work or live on a farm by signing up to Farm Watch you would decrease the chance of becoming victims of rural crime.”