Farmwatch initiative launched to help farmers combat crime

Published: 12 Apr 2012 13:000 comments

Farmers in collaboration with the PSNI in Fermanagh have taken a major step forward to combat rural crime in their areas.

Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle O'Neill launching the Farmwatch campaign in Fermanagh with the help of Chief Superintendent Pauline Shields, Sergeant Scott Fallis, Farmwatch Co-ordinator and local farmers, Victor Thompson and Robert Stinson.

Over 100 farmers from the county attended the launch of Farmwatch at Enniskillen Campus by the Agriculture Minister, Michelle O'Neill.

The scheme incorporates a range of measures which are designed to prevent thieves from stealing items of valuable machinery from farms, especially those in rural locations.

Sergeant Scott Fallis, from Fermanagh North Neighbourhood Policing Team introduced the proceedings by explaining the concept of Farmwatch and the practicalities of the scheme.

He said rural crime presented a real challenge to police, given the isolation of many farms and the lack of CCTV available in the countryside. Farmwatch is a multifaceted initiative, he said, which will instigate and maintain a vital link between local farmers and neighbourhood policing teams.

Almost 100 farmers registered for Farmwatch on the night. This means each farmer will now be visited at their farm by their Neighbourhood Police Officer. Whilst on the farm the officer can offer the following services:

-A unique Farmwatch metal sign for display at the farm entrance

-Items of machinery forensically marked with Datatag

-Trailers and Quads marked and registered

-Tools and equipment details recorded on a register held by police

-Retina Scanning of Sheep

-Registration onto Business Watch - alerts farmer by text if there is suspicious activity in the area

-Farmers will be invited to participate in a quarterly forum with police.

Sergeant Fallis explained that probably the most important element of the Farmwatch scheme is that a Neighbourhood Officer has to actually visit each farm in order to carry out these services, and therefore gets to know the farmer, and vice versa.

"It is important that officers get to know what is actually up those concrete lanes and build up trust with the farmer. Farmwatch will greatly enhance the prevention of crime, but also increase the recovery rate of stolen property. We want to send out a clear message to the criminal fraternity. As a group, the farmers in Fermanagh are working closely with the Police Service in a bid to make it as difficult as possible for the thief," he said.

Already the policing teams are making appointments to visit the farms.

Speaking at the launch of the scheme, the Minister said: "The impact of rural crime on farming families goes far beyond the loss of property. Rural crime can make isolated farming communities feel even more isolated as they padlock doors and gates, hide away farm machinery and look at strangers with an eye of suspicion."

The Minister continued: "Farmwatch is a wide ranging package of interventions to help reduce rural crime in County Fermanagh. The technological tools involved in the scheme will provide vital evidence in criminal investigations and will help ensure livestock and machinery is identified, recovered and returned to their owners. "However while this technology gives access to some very useful tools, I believe the most important part of Farmwatch is that it will provide farmers in Fermanagh with an opportunity to work together and, with the support of the PSNI, tackle this issue. I hope this Farmwatch scheme will be used to bring a greater sense of togetherness to counter the sense of isolation rural crime produces."

If any farmers was unable to attend the launch of Farmwatch, but wishes still to be involved, they can express their interest by contacting their local Neighbourhood Officer, or alternatively contact Sergeant Scott Fallis on 07795607570 (if you leave a message your call will be returned).

Jump to first paragraph.

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

Get more stories from our Farming section

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Brian Donaldson

Prizewinning flock now in National Texel Competition

A prominent pedigree sheep breeder in the west of the Province is celebrating three consecutive championships at the Northern Ireland Texel Club’s annual Danske Bank Flock of the Year competition.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Brian Donaldson

Two years without a case of Brucellosis in NI herds

There has been a welcome from farming organisations regarding progress towards Officially Brucellosis Free (OBF) status in Northern Ireland.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Brian Donaldson

Students develop their skills at Greenmount Campus

Students studying the Level 2 Diploma and the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Agriculture at CAFRE Greenmount Campus, complete Estate Skills training as part of their course.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Brian Donaldson

DARD urged to do more to eradicate TB

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has been urged to do more to stamp out Bovine TB.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Brian Donaldson

Farmers need to consider their options on SFP in future years

May 2 is the deadline for trading of Single Farm Payment entitlements, which staff from Cavanagh Kelly Chartered Accountants have been reminding farmers at a well attended meeting in Corick House, Clogher, recently.

Social: Comments0 comments

24 Apr 2014 14:00 • Brian Donaldson

More SAF forms should be sent online: Minister

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has revealed that 3,524 Single Application Forms (SAFs) have been received during the first six weeks of this year’s application window, with 60% being submitted online.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 15:30

Appeal for Fermanagh farmers to join Open Farm Weekend

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has called on farmers in Fermanagh to get involved in its award-winning Open Farm Weekend initiative which takes place on June 14 and 15 this year.

Social:

18 Apr 2014 09:30

Beekeepers need to watch out for disease in the hive

The danger period for bee colony demise has now passed and beekeepers with colonies alive now can nurture them and build them into full production, according to Ethel Irvine, in her April report from Fermanagh Beekeepers Association.

Social:

17 Apr 2014 17:30

Members celebrate coveted awards

Andrew Little, a new YFCU vice president, and a member of Lisbellaw YFC has been named the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster Member of the Year at the Association’s Annual General Meeting and Conference.

Social:

17 Apr 2014 13:00

SDA group hands over petition with 10,000 names

Members of the Severely Disadvantaged Area Group (SDAG) and Northern Ireland Livestock Auctioneers met with Agriculture Minister, Michelle O’Neill at Stormont to hand over the petition which contained around 10,000 signatures expressing concern about specification pricing penalties being proposed by NIMEA.

Social:

10 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department

9,000 farmers sign petition against meat plant proposals

Farmers in Fermanagh have been leading a Province-wide campaign opposing a plan by meat plants to introduce financial penalties for cattle who do not conform to strict specifications which they plan to introduce.

Social: Comments0 comments

10 Apr 2014 13:00 • Brian Donaldson

Local farmers wait longer to get their SFP

Farmers in Fermanagh and Tyrone have to wait longer for their Single Farm Payment money thank other areas of Northern Ireland, according to Tom Elliott, MLA.

Social: Comments0 comments

3 Apr 2014 13:00 • Brian Donaldson

Andrew selected for YFC European Rally in Wales

A member of Lisbellaw YFC, Andrew Little, who is also Chairman of Fermanagh YFC County Committee, has been chosen to represent the YFCU at the European Rally after attending a celebratory lunch held at the headquarters of Danske Bank, sponsors.

Social: Comments0 comments

3 Apr 2014 13:00 • Brian Donaldson

CAP reforms: views are still divided

There have been strong comments made during the past week on which direction of the CAP reforms in Northern Ireland should take in the next number of years.

Social: Comments0 comments

3 Apr 2014 13:00 • Brian Donaldson

Six weeks until Balmoral Show

It is only six weeks until this year’s Balmoral Show and the second year for it to be held at Balmoral Park.

Social: Comments0 comments

3 Apr 2014 13:00 • Brian Donaldson

2014 tax return charges from a farming angle

Many farmers are now starting to finalize their accounting records as a basis for completing their 2014 Tax Returns. Revenue & Customs have introduced some changes which are effective for the 2014 Tax Return.

Social: Comments0 comments

3 Apr 2014 13:00 • Brian Donaldson

Food courses served up during Loughry Open Day

If you are thinking of a career in the food and drink industry then Loughry Campus Open Day in Cookstown on Tuesday next, April 8 between 3 - 8 pm could be the place to begin.

Social: Comments0 comments

27 Mar 2014 13:00 • Brian Donaldson

Local breeders among rosettes at Simmental spring show

Fermanagh breeders took the supreme bull championship and the reserve female champion at the Northern Ireland Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club’s spring show and sale, held at Dungannon Farmers’ Mart.

Social: Comments0 comments

27 Mar 2014 13:00 • Brian Donaldson

Bees become active as weather improves

With March being a tense time of year for beekeepers, they have nursed their colonies through a long, wet winter and are now waiting anxiously to see how strong they really are.

Social: Comments0 comments

27 Mar 2014 13:00 • Brian Donaldson

Grant aid for slurry equipment re-opens next week

The Manure Efficiency Technology Scheme which provides financial support for specialised slurry spreading equipment is to re-open on Monday next, March 31, the Agriculture Minister, Michelle O’Neill has announced. The closing date for applications is April 25.

Social: Comments0 comments