Agri-Crime Needs Separate Targeting
East Antrim Sinn Fein MLA Oliver McMullan said the separation of ‘agriculture-crime’ from general rural crime would assist in helping target resources to tackle the issue.
Mr McMullan speaking after an Assembly debate on agriculture theft, said:
“I am pleased that the Justice Minister accepted my argument that agricultural crime should be separated from general rural crime as this would allow the PSNI to have better and more up to date information on ‘agri-crime’ as it happens.
“Agri-crime’ is basically the targeting of the assets of farmers whether it is machinery or livestock as compared to other crimes such as burglaries, assaults etc. At present on their own admission the PSNI’s present system does not distinguish between the two classifications so it is harder to inject resources into tackling it.
“There are organised gangs who are targeting both machinery and livestock and exporting them abroad and this is costing farmers huge amounts of money and time.
“The rural economy generates billions of pounds each year so it is important that any threat to the industry is tackled with the utmost urgency and that the PSNI are properly resourced to do so.”