UUP meeting on rural crime

The Ulster Unionist delegation with senior PSNI officers. INPT05-030

The Ulster Unionist delegation with senior PSNI officers. INPT05-030

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Rural crime was under the spotlight when a delegation from the Ulster Unionist Party met with local senior PSNI commanders to discuss their concerns.

The group consisted of Assembly member Danny Kennedy, councillors Jim Speers, Gordon Kennedy, Joy Rollston and David Taylor as well as Sam Nicholson, prospective candidate for the forthcoming local government elections.

They pressed the PSNI to increase their presence in the rural areas.

Mr Kennedy said the delegation had also stressed the need for more direct action to be taken by the PSNI in response to both the theft of farm machinery and tractors and the problem of cattle and sheep rustling.

Recently, the DUP also held a meeting with police after an incident in which a Loughgall farmer tracked down the thieves who had stolen his tactors.

The local representatives said more needed to be done by the PSNI to improve confidence levels within the rural community.

Mr Kennedy also urged farmers and other agencies to work with the PSNI to collaborate in implementing prevention measures at farms and protecting machinery.

He said he would be raising his concerns with the Minister of Justice and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in an effort to provide extra resources.

Mr Kennedy called for heavier sentences to be meted out to those brought before the courts to act as a proper deterrent to help eradicate the scourge of crime.

Mr Kennedy and Cllr David Taylor also held a meeting with a senior representative from the UFU to hear at first hand their concerns.

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