Ulster Unionists meet with PSNI to voice concerns on local rural crime

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Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
A delegation from the Ulster Unionist Party met with local Senior PSNI Commanders recently to discuss their concerns about rural crime in the area. The group, which consisted of local UUP Assembly member Danny Kennedy MLA and Party colleagues Cllr JIm Speers, Cllr Gordon Kennedy, Cllr Joy Rollston, Cllr David Taylor and Sam Nicholson (prospective candidate in the Armagh area for the forthcoming Local Government Election) pressed the PSNI strongly to increase their presence in the rural areas. Following the meeting, Kennedy said the delegation had stressed the need for more direct action to be taken by the PSNI in response to both the theft of farm machinery and tractors and also the serious problem of cattle and sheep rustling in the area. The local representatives said more needed to be done by the PSNI to improve confidence levels within the rural community which were badly dented as a result of the ongoing series of thefts and acts of criminality throughout the County Armagh region. Kennedy also urged farmers and other agencies to work with the PSNI to collaborate in implementing prevention measures at farms and protecting machinery. He said he would be raising his concerns with both the Minister of Justice and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development at Executive level at Stormont in an effort to provide extra resources for the “hot-spot” area of County Armagh. Kennedy called for heavier sentences to be meted out to those brought before the courts to act as a proper deterrent to help eradicate the scourge of the rural community. Kennedy and Cllr David Taylor also held a meeting with a senior representative from the UFU to hear at first hand the concerns of the organisation on the question of thefts and cattle and sheep rustling.
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