Following a report from the PSNI in the Upper Bann area DUP Councillor Carla Lockhart has encouraged rural dwellers to be vigilant over the Christmas period.
Councillor Lockhart said there has been an increase in crime across the policing district and it is imperative that residents secure their property.
She added: “Quads, tractors, farm machinery and animals are all desirable items at this time. Many living in the rural areas of Northern Ireland have seen at first hand the scourge of criminal activity and unfortunately our justice system has not in my opinion been issuing the individuals responsible with heavy enough convictions to deter others becoming involved.
“I would call on farmers to take extra time each evening to ensure that their assets are safe. As an industry this year we have suffered with poor prices and growing financial constraints. We can not allow criminals to force further pressures on our livelihoods.
“If farmers or local home owners witness any suspicious activity in their areas, then please do not hesitate and contact the PSNI immediately. Only by a strategic and coherent approach, with the PSNI and the community working together, will we see a firm crack down on rural crime. I trust that safe farmyards this winter will pave the way for a more prosperous year for the agri-food industry.”