Officers ‘up-skilled’ to help tackle crime in rural areas

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PSNI crime prevention officers have been ‘up-skilling’ to develop their knowledge in tackling rural crime.

The police recognises that rural communities play an essential role in the local economy and that thefts of livestock can not only hamper a farmer’s ability to do the job, but can cause significant upset, inconvenience and loss of income.

Crime prevention officers attended a livestock training course so they can become better equipped to deal with rural crime and advise farmers of the best possible techniques they can adopt to mitigate their chance of becoming a victim.

Inspector Keith Jamieson explained: “We have been working with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and other agencies to find ways to disrupt and hamper the work of would-be criminals. Giving police officers and crime prevention officers the knowledge and skills to disrupt and deter criminals is one way of addressing this issue. We are eager to disrupt those who target farmers and others in the countryside.

“The police continue to work extremely closely with partner agencies. The police service has also endeavoured to increase our engagement with the rural community through the Farmwatch scheme and this livestock familiarisation training will give crime prevention officers much more confidence in dealing with livestock issues particularly theft.

“I wish to give an assurance that there is no acceptable level of crime in the rural community or indeed elsewhere, and for the PSNI, one victim, is one victim too many. I hope this training will give officers the insight to understand and tackle this scourge on rural communities and the training will be made available to other officers in the coming months.”