Tracking devices for tractors

UUP MLA Robin Swann has called for tracking devices to be placed on farming machinery.

Robin Swann. (Editorial Image)

In a statement, Mr Swann said: “I firmly raised the option of machinery tagging by asking the minister that, following the farm vehicle marking scheme, if she will consider funding a trial to allow farmers to purchase tracking devices to be fitted to agricultural machinery.

“There has also been a number of recent successes in recovering stolen agricultural machinery where CCTV in a number of rural towns and villages was used.

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“I asked the justice minister to pursue a more joined-up approach in capturing this data, with the possibility of siting a number of additional cameras across key locations.

“A proactive approach is necessary if the minister and PSNI are to get a handle on tackling rural crime seriously.

“There is the real danger that if the authorities do not tackle the scourge of rural crime head-on, some farmers may be forced to leave the sector altogether because of the loss of machinery or livestock.”