A Lisburn Alliance Party ‘shadow’ councillor has welcomed a tractor tracking initiative from the Rural Crime Partnership.
Newly elected to the Lisburn City and Castlereagh District supercouncil, Owen Gawith is urging local farmers to take up the subsidy on the TRACKER device whose signal allows a stolen tractor to be traced and recovered.
His call comes against a backdrop of rising rural crime in Northern Ireland, this according to a survey published by the National Farmers’ Union Mutual Insurance Society.
The survey shows a 15% increase in rural crime last year, and highlights the most commonly stolen items as livestock, farming tools and tractors. Downshire West Councillor Gawith said: “The initiative is being delivered by the RCP which consists of the Department of Justice, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, PSNI and NFU Mutual. It has been developed using figures from the PSNI’s rural crime unit.
“The RCP is offering a subsidy to all tractor owners in Northern Ireland for the TRACKER ® PLANT product.
“This means a customer can avail of a stolen vehicle recovery product for £360 + VAT which includes the unit, fitting and subscription for three years.
“To register, or for more information, call the NFU on 028 9081 8688, giving your contact details, make, model, chassis no. and registration of the tractor.
“The offer runs until 30 September.
“Having this device fitted also qualifies for a 12.5% discount on insurance premiums with NFU Mutual.”
He added: “Anyone wishing to know more about protecting their property, or about Farm Watch, trailer marking or the PSNI text-alert system should phone their local Crime Prevention Officer or neighbourhood policing team on 101.”
PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton said: “Increased vigilance and security are key elements in denying criminals an opportunity of stealing machinery or equipment”.