‘Farmwatch’ scheme launch in Ballymena

Ballymena Policing and Community Safety Partnership is to provide funding for a new ‘farmwatch’ scheme aimed at preventing criminals from preying on the agricultural community.

As part of a strategy to reduce crime and fear of crime among farmers in Ballymena, the scheme will be launched this week at the Farmers’ mart in Woodside Road.

Guardcams, low level CCTV cameras to help monitor farm premises and tracking devices which will help to locate stolen machinery will be among the items to be distributed at the launch.

Chair of Ballymena PCSP James Currie said: “We in the PCSP are very aware of the current difficulties experienced by farmers in terms of the loss of valuable farm equipment. The theft of expensive machinery can knock the heart out of farmers who may be struggling when it comes to sustaining a small farm business. The fact that the farming community in Northern Ireland is close-knit means reports regarding crime incidents spread like wildfire and this results in a high level of fear of crime among farmers”.

Inspector John Allen of PSNI’s Ballymena rural team added: “PSNI take rural crime seriously. However, we need the continuing support of rural communities and I would like to see as many people as possible come along . Farmers can avail of PSNI’s free trailer marking scheme as well as get some crime prevention advice from our specially trained Crime Prevention Officers.”

Farmwatch will be launched at the Farmers’ Mart, Woodside Road, Ballymena between 10.00am and 2.00pm on Jan 31st.

All those attending will be invited to participate in the draw for free farm safety equipment.

Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact Mary Magill on 25660343.