Concerns have been raised about the level of rural theft in Gilford in recent days.
Upper Bann DUP MLA Sydney Anderson, who is a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, acknowledged several thefts and called for a ‘committed resolve’ to reduce crime in the area.
Mr Anderson stated, “I am aware that, as of last Friday (26 February), three separate incidents of rural theft had occurred in the Gilford area - with farm vehicles and machinery being stolen in the space of a few days.
“I am aware that a tractor was taken by thieves but was later recovered nearby and, in another incident, a tractor and trailer were stolen, but were later recovered some distance away.
“In addition to this a tractor and feeder wagon were stolen and the PSNI informed me that, as of last Friday, it had not as yet been recovered.
“I would hope that those responsible for this criminal activity are arrested, brought before the courts and given appropriate punishment for their actions.”
The DUP MLA recommended that the PSNI work together with local initiatives and homeowners in order to tackle the issue:
“For many years we have witnessed our rural communities being negatively impacted by the scourge of rural crime.
“Our farming communities are working hard to make a living and provide vital resources for the Northern Ireland economy, but they have been greatly hindered by the disgraceful actions of those who carry out rural crime.”