Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman William Irwin MLA has welcomed the reduction in rural crime which has fallen by approximately 47% compared with last year’s figures.
Mr Irwin, pictured, said that whilst the reduction in crime was welcomed it was still most important that police continued with a proactive response to crime in rural areas and also that the public assisted in alerting the police to any information which could lead to arrests and prosecutions.
He stated: “It was good to meet with officers of the local PSNI and also Armagh, Banbridge Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership and speak with them regarding this welcome drop in rural crime incidences.
“Crime in rural areas is down and that is I believe due to a number of factors including intensive policing work in the district and also I have noticed a greater involvement of local people in quickly bringing reports of suspicious vehicles in an area to the attention of the PSNI.”
He added: “The text alert scheme which is operated and dissipated to local community workers and elected representatives and also the PSNI’s use of social media, is so useful in alerting the community and I have seen this be of real assistance in finding culprits leading to successful prosecutions.
“With continued close involvement between the community and the police and also the PCSP, I have no doubt that criminal elements can be thwarted and I hope that the trend in rural crime will continue to drop as we have seen in more recent times. Rural crime is a scourge on our community and has significant impacts on the elderly especially causing stress and fear and I welcome any additional resourcing that can be allocated to rural policing.”