Rural crime upsurge a 'concern' - UUP
Tuesday, 15 November 2016
NEWRY and Armagh MLA Danny Kennedy and Councillor David Taylor have held a meeting with the PSNI to discuss the recent upsurge in rural crime in the area.
The Ulster Unionist representatives, along with Alderman Jim Speers, requested to meet with the senior police officials following the occurrence of a series of incidents which included thefts of vehicles and machinery in various areas across the Newry and Armagh constituency.
Only last week (Wednesday, November 9), the PSNI recovered a stolen tractor in south Armagh after receiving a call from a member of the public.
The New Holland tractor, which had been reported stolen from an address on the Ballyreagh Road area of Poyntzpass sometime overnight on Monday, November 6, was recovered in the Concession Road area shortly after 8pm.
The tractor has since been taken away for forensic examination.
Speaking after the meeting with the PSNI, Mr Kennedy said: "I have been increasingly concerned about the number of incidents of theft which have occurred in rural areas of my constituency over a recent period of time and felt it was necessary to discuss these concerns with senior PSNI officers.
“The Ulster Unionist Party delegation highlighted their belief that additional resources were required to combat the level of crime which exists at present and we pressed for an immediate response to be provided from the police to allay the very genuine concerns existing within the rural community regarding the upsurge in crime.
“We were pleased to learn from the senior commanders that additional operations are to be put in place locally by the PSNI to tackle the current upsurge in criminals activity in the area.
“We would also encourage rural dwellers and those involved in the agricultural sector to co-operate with the police and take precautionary measures to help protect their machinery and livestock wherever possible."
While Councillor Taylor added: "The recent spate of crimes locally are an extremely sinister development and devastating for those families affected.
“The rural community needs to be reassured that the police will respond effectively against those criminals perpetrating the thefts which have occurred and it is my hope that they will move quickly to address the concerns which exist."
Following the recovery of the New Holland tractor last week the PSNI wished to thank the public for their continued support.
“This is a great example of how information from the community enables us to focus our resources where and when they are needed most," said a spokesperson.
“Lifting the phone and making the call works. We will follow up any information provided by the community and can assure everyone of confidentiality when they make that call."
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