Rural thefts hit Gilford area

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Upper Bann DUP MLA Sydney Anderson has expressed concern about the level of rural theft that has taken place in the Gilford area in recent days.

Mr Anderson stated,“I am aware that as of last Friday (26th 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 (26thFebruary) it had not as yet been recovered. I would hope that those responsible for this criminal activity arearrested, brought before the courts and given appropriate punishment for their actions.”

Sydney Anderson MLA continued, “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.

“I have raised this issue on many occasions with the PSNI and I will continue to do so in my role as a political representative.

It is vital that the PSNI, the new Policing and Community Safety Partnerships, local political representatives, other relevant bodies and the community at large work together to tackle head on the problem of rural crime.

“ In particular the occurrence of such crime can be deterred by individuals making sure they have taken appropriate security measures with their property. Ultimately a committed resolve is urgently needed from all to reduce the amount of such crime that is taking place.”