Country residents helping to stop crime

JILL GALLOWAY
Last updated 12:00 05/09/2014

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Rural people have become more aware of crime and are taking more precautions to stop it, police say.

Feilding Senior Sergeant Nigel Allan said better awareness and communication helped keep crime in rural Manawatu and Rangitikei down.

"Police and Neighbourhood Support tell people what's going on.

"And the rural community is more aware of crime. People are more observant and vigilant than they were a few years ago."

There had been stock rustling in other areas, with pigs, cattle and sheep killed for meat. Quad bikes and farm equipment had also been stolen. But Allan said there had been no stock thefts in the region in the past year.

"We apprehended a couple of individuals and it stopped.

"Since then, there has been increasing awareness of the issue for rural people and there has also been improved neighbourhood support," Allan said.

Kiwitea farmer Andrew Hoggard said more rural people were locking their sheds and had installed cameras.

"A few years ago there was more rustling and crime but rural people are more aware now."

Hoggard said the challenge was knowing where to put cameras and having the right ones that showed a clear picture. "Neighbourhood Support in the rural areas has worked too." Emails and new technology had also helped.

However, Federated Farmers said that in many areas, farmers often had unreliable cellphone coverage.

The value of stock theft nationwide has been put at $120 million per year.

"Numbers of stock theft in the region are low. But people need to be aware and report to police anything suspicious they see," Allan said.

Anyone with information about stock theft or other crimes can report them anonymously to Crimestoppers, 0800 555 111.

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- Manawatu Standard

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