The Rural Crime and Safety event at Newtownards on Saturday (March 7th) attracted a number of people.
Thanking all those who took part in the event and the event hosts Corrie’s Meats, Supt. Brian Kee said, “This was a very useful event during which those who attended had the opportunity to view some of the latest crime prevention devices available today.
“Saturday’s event also gave PSNI officers an opportunity to listen to the concerns from those who are concerned about the impact of rural and agricultural crime which not only causes them financial difficulty but emotional distress. The Police Service understands those concerns and is continuing to work together with other agencies and partners, to reduce agricultural and rural crime.
“Our Service’s strategy incorporates a number of actions aimed at providing more information to the public; increasing public awareness, assisting in the prevention of further crime, and working with other partner agencies to identify ways of preventing crime as well as targeting and arresting those committing such offences.
“The farming industry is a very important part of our community, and we want to reassure them that we are doing all we can to prevent thefts. We want to disrupt those who would target the rural community and help farmers to safeguard their properties and themselves.”
David Ford, Minister of Justice, said: “I welcome the event and the efforts of the local PSNI and PCSPs to raise awareness around what can be done to combat rural crime. Northern Ireland is mostly rural and the agricultural industry has a crucial role to play in our economy. Those who target rural communities, who target farmers, leave a devastating impact on livelihoods and on the confidence of those communities.
“I would encourage those attending the event to take advantage of the advice and services on offer, and to engage with local PCSPs to ensure their voices are heard on the issues that matter most to them.”
Chair of NDPCSP Cllr Christine Bower welcomed the rural crime event as representing a significant move forward to supporting the rural community across Ards and North Down in protecting their homes, family and businesses. “The success of the event presents a strong case for this to be annual event and an opportunity for the PCSP to assess the needs and confidence in policing across the rural community,” she said.
Those attending the event had the opportunity to win a Tank Commander Unit, which alerts the owner of plant or fuel storage to a potential theft via text message.
There was also a demonstration from NIFRS and NIAS, and those attending had the opportunity to have their trailer marked for free. PSNI firearms officers were also in attendance to provide advice on preventing gun theft and the appropriate storage of weapons.
DOENI gave a talk on pollution and wildlife issues, NFU Risk Management Specialists were there. Colleagues from other agencies will also be on hand to give advice on the health and wellbeing for rural dwellers with blood pressure and stress indicator testing and help with financial stress issues.