D District Community Safety Team have launched a rural crime prevention initiative throughout the area in an attempt to reduce tractor and farm machinery thefts.
The initiative, supported by local Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs) will operate across the policing areas of Antrim, Lisburn, Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus.
Many thefts of tractors and farm machinery occur during the hours of darkness and the initiative encourages members of the public to contact police if they see tractors or machinery on roads in the area after dark.
As part of the initiative information cards will be distributed to taxi firms, garages, road haulage firms and other businesses across the District. Adverts will also appear on the rear of buses operating in the area.
Commenting on the initiative, Antrim Area Commander Chief Inspector Natalie Wilson, said: “Rural crime is a priority for us and it is essential that the community report any incidents of suspicious activity to us immediately. Information from members of the public is vital in helping us address this type of crime.
“You know your own area best and if you notice something which does not look right, are aware of machinery moving at odd times or notice unusual attention being paid to livestock in fields, phone police.
“We need this information to target our resources and respond in the best way. We would ask that they note descriptions of persons and vehicle types, colours and registrations then call Police on 0845 600 8000 as soon as possible.
“We would much rather take the time to check out a call that proves to show nothing untoward than miss an opportunity to stop a crime or catch criminals in the act.”
Alderman Drew Ritchie, Chairman of Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership, added: “The theft of tractors or other farming machinery can have a devastating impact on the whole rural community.
“I am pleased to have been involved with this initiative and I encourage everyone to help prevent rural crime by reporting any suspicious activity immediately so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice.”