Rural crime topped the agenda at the recent Carmarthenshire NFU Cymru county meeting held at Halfway Inn, Carmarthen.
Following recent sheep rustling incidents, NFU Cymru organised for Dyfed-Powys Police’s Inspector Rhys Williams and PC Simon Gibbard-Jones to speak at the county meeting and explain more about rural crime and what is being done to alleviate the problem.
Members present discussed with Dyfed-Powys Police the possibility of additional dedicated resource for rural policing. Garry Williams, Carmarthenshire NFU Cymru County Chairman said: “We as farmers believe that rural communities in Carmarthenshire would benefit from specialised rural crime officers in the county. NFU Mutual has seen a sharp rise in thefts from Welsh farms in the first half of 2017 and this can’t go on, because it’s costing farmers and the rural community a lot of money and stress.
“When dealing with incidents such as sheep rustling, technical knowledge is paramount and that is why a specialised rural crime team would be beneficial in the area.”
During their presentation, Insp. Rhys Williams and PC Simon Gibbard-Jones discussed ways in which farmers could help deter would-be thieves. Some tips included:
• Secure gates with good padlocks protected by covers to prevent them being cut off, also invert or cap the hinges.
• Paint the top bar of gates so that they could be identified easily if they were stolen from your property. It will make these gates less inviting for any thief to steal as the paint could make it troublesome for them to sell on.
• Install sensor controlled lighting to the yards and sheds. Thieves do not like to be seen.
• If you can afford it, install CCTV and signage around the yards and the sheds.
• Close all sheds, garages or barns after you have used them. An open door is an open invitation to a thief.
• Consider marking your tools so you can identify them if they are ever stolen.
• Remove keys from quad bikes etc. when not in use. Simple measures like this could be off putting to thieves looking for an easy theft.
Garry Williams thanked those in attendance and Dyfed-Powys Police for providing an insightful presentation and for listening to the views of farmers in the county. Garry concluded: “The interaction between the police and members during the meeting was very positive and formed part of our continued working relationship with the force.”