A NEW Crimestoppers campaign aimed at tackling rural crime has been launched this week by Justice Minister David Ford and DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill on Crosby Cleland’s farm in Saintfield.
The campaign, backed by the Department of Justice, DARD, UFU, Crimestoppers, PSNI, Environment Agency, NI Water, and NFU Mutual, aims to encourage rural communities to be vigilant, provide advice on crime prevention measures and encourages the reporting of criminal activity. UFU deputy president Barclay Bell said: “Rural crime is an issue that the UFU takes very seriously due to the impact it has on rural businesses, the sustainability of these businesses and on the local rural community. The scale of farm thefts has become a high profile issue and several recent incidents where large numbers of livestock were stolen illustrate how farmers can quickly become victims of crime with serious consequences for their businesses. Innovative projects are already underway in various regions across Northern Ireland and we hope that this joint initiative will help overcome the growing problem of rural crime.”
The UFU will continue to work closely on this campaign to help reduce rural crime and importantly, reduce the fear of crime that rural residents often feel. The public can provide any information, no matter how small, 24 hours a day either by phone 0800 555 111 or online with guaranteed anonymity and without it even showing on their phone bill.