A NEW CCTV scheme to help protect rural areas around Banbridge has been launched.
Banbridge Neighbourhood Policing Team, NFU Mutual and Banbridge Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) have joined forces to bring the scheme forward.
The rural CCTV scheme will allow mobile CCTV camera equipment to be installed in farms and other rural properties to deter and detect attempts to cause damage and theft. Signs will be erected at properties where the cameras are in use.
Constable Jill McCormick, Banbridge Neighbourhood Policing Team, explained: “The rural community can often feel isolated and vulnerable in relation to crime and this scheme is about offering some extra protection.
“The value of rural and agricultural thefts is often significant and we know that even one theft of machinery or cattle can leave a farm struggling for survival. We believe the cameras will be a deterrent to thieves as well as increase the evidential opportunities if a crime occurs.
“We are also hopeful that the introduction of these cameras will allow us to increase communication and build relationships with our rural community.”
Councillor John Hanna, Chairman of Banbridge PCSP, continued, “One of the outcomes of the NI Community Safety strategy is to make our rural communities safer across E District by reducing the opportunities to commit crime. Banbridge PCSP is delighted at the opportunity to support a project that enables local farmers and rural residents to work in partnership with police in Craigavon, Armagh and Newry as well as Banbridge to do just this.
Mr Louis Boyle, Banbridge PCSP Vice-Chair, added, “The PCSP would also encourage people to report all rural/farming crime, suspicious activity or vehicles, and support the Rural Crime campaign that has recently been launched by Northern Ireland Crimestoppers. Your anonymity is guaranteed and the number to call is 0800 555 111.”
Martin Malone, NFU Mutual Director for Northern Ireland said: “As Northern Ireland’s leading rural insurer, we are all too well aware that crime is currently a serious problem for farmers and are working closely with police and the UFU to make it harder for thieves to steal from farms. We believe this scheme will prove effective and are pleased to be sponsoring it.”
There are a limited number of cameras which can be installed on a temporary basis at properties through referral by the NFU. Crime prevention officers will install the cameras and offer security advice to home owners.