‘Have the PSNI given up on Rural Crime?’ – Hearty
Sinn Féin councillor Terry Hearty has used a recent PCSP meeting to question whether the PSNI are serious about providing a rural police service.
The Slieve Gullion representative’s comments come following an incident last week during which an Armagh farmer took the law into his own hands and successfully tracked down and recovered a tractor which had been stolen from his farm.
His actions lead to the recovery of another stolen tractor and the arrest of two men on suspicion of theft.
Councillor Hearty said, “People are growing increasingly dissatisfied with the lack of proper investigation and community policing. The PSNI continually site the dissident threat as justification for not attending crime scenes. There is a substantial increase in rural crime that goes without proper investigation and never leads to arrests.
“I spoke to a farmer recently who was the victim of an attempted livestock theft. I asked the farmer to report the incident to the PSNI but he refused saying it would be a waste of time as he felt the PSNI have no interest in this sort of crime and said that locals have to protect their own property.”
Councillor Hearty stressed to PSNI Inspector Davy Beck that there is a massive risk to personal safety if people attempt to protect their own property. “I also emphasised the fact that proper community policing is what the people of South Armagh want and deserve.”
He added, “I do not like complaining and ridiculing the police, I want to work with PSNI and statutory bodies on this committee to ensure that our areas are safe for communities and that we have proper community policing but the PSNI must also play their part and provide their service.”
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