New agri-crime unit set up welcomed

THE setting up of the new dedicated Agriculture Crime Unit has been welcomed by Sinn Fein Councillor Mairead O’Dowd.

Cllr O’Dowd, who sits on the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership said: “I welcome this development which is in line with the call by Sinn Féin for a dedicated unit to target specific crimes against the farming community as opposed to rural crime.

“Agriculture remains our single largest industry and our economy is dependent upon its success. Agricultural crimes are not petty and normally involve very expensive equipment or livestock. Such theft has the potential to put a farmer out of business and this in turn impacts on all of us.

“With the financial pressures upon them as a result of poor weather the farming community cannot afford additional costs from agricultural crime. They need to have proper protection against criminals and a dedicated unit within the PSNI.”