DUP MLA Carla Lockhart has spoken out on the need for people to be vigilant in the wake of more rural crime.
It comes on the back of another theft this time a tractor and slurry tanker in the Armagh area and an attempted burglary at a farm outside Banbridge.
The PSNI has advised people that the greatest asset in the fight against rural crime is the local community and say that if you see anything suspicious to report it on 999 or 101.
Speaking on the issue Carla Lockhart said: “Coming from a farming background I am only too aware of the effect the loss of livestock or machinery can have on a farm. It is both the cost and the inconvenience of losing valuable items but also the violation of what is your own space.
“I would urge the public to be vigilant and to ensure they make the police aware of anything which seems unusual. These pieces of machinery cost large sums of money and could cripple a small farm without them. Animals are a particular loss given they provide income to the farmers but large scale losses over a prolonged period of one can affect consumers as well.
“We can all play our part and be eyes and ears for the farming community and rural householders.
“In recent days there has been a number of thefts. One of the high profile thefts took place in Armagh with a tractor and slurry tanker having been stolen and in recent days I have been speaking with a farming family from Banbridge who had to call for police intervention following an incident at their farm.
“This highlights an increase and I therefore would warn and encourage rural dwellers to be vigilant and not take risks.”