Jim Shannon MP for Strangford has called for drastic measures to address the alarming rise in Farm Thefts in the area.
He said: “In the last two weeks, there has been the theft of a horse box, two jeeps at different locations, power tools, farm trailers and horse equipment . There is serious concern within the farming community at the ease at which the thieves were able to steal the equipment and it would seem to then dispose of the stolen items. I have been contacted by famers, and one farmer has informed me that he has had quads stolen from the House belonging to his children and which he used for stock control.
“I think the time has come for something different to be done and I am suggesting that the PSNI erect CCTV cameras at strategic locations in the Ards Peninsula where most of the thefts have taken place to monitor the movement of traffic and thereby observe the movement of trailers and vehicles that must have been shifted by road.
“Most farmers have tracker devices on their vehicles and trailers, and while they have enabled at least one of the jeeps to be recovered, it still annoys farmers that those who steal property seem to be able to strike and remove equipment with an ease that would indicate that those involved are professional and experienced thieves.
“There does come a time when you need to think outside the box using CCTV cameras, tracker devices and anti-theft markers on all equipment and as it would seem that the movement of those stolen items happen in the early hours and there must be a focus on this,” added Mr Shannon.