Local officers up-skilled to help prevent rural crime

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Friday, May 4th, 2018

Rural communities play an essential role in the local economy. Thefts of livestock can not only hamper a farmer’s ability to do the job, but can cause significant upset, inconvenience and loss of income.

Police have said they understand this and have been ‘upskilling’ officers to develop their knowledge in tackling rural crime.



Officers from Newry and South Armagh have attended a livestock training course so they can become better equipped to deal with rural crime and advise farmers of the best possible techniques they can adopt to mitigate their chance of becoming a victim.

Speaking to Newry Times, Constable Nicki Martin said, “The PSNI has been working with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and other agencies to find ways to disrupt and hamper the work of would-be criminals.

“Giving officers the knowledge and skills to disrupt and deter criminals is one way of addressing this issue. We are eager to disrupt those who target farmers and others in the countryside. This course has been running for a number of years now, with officers and staff from across our organisation taking part.



“We are aware of the significant impact of livestock theft within the rural community and in our area. Geographically we’re best placed to try and disrupt and deter this criminality, however to do this officers need to understand the legislation, and know what to look out for when stopping and checking animal transporters or when in attendance on farm premises.

He continued, “We are also planning a high vis joint operation between PSNI and DAERA to perform checks and hopefully further deter future animal thefts.”



“We continue to work extremely closely with partner agencies. The Police Service has also endeavoured to increase our engagement with the rural community through the Farmwatch scheme and this livestock familiarisation training will give officers much more confidence in dealing with livestock issues particularly theft.

“There is no acceptable level of crime in the rural community or indeed elsewhere, and for the PSNI, one victim, is one victim too many. I hope this training will give officers the insight to understand and tackle this scourge on rural communities and the training will be made available to other officers in the coming months,” Constable Martin added.



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