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Organised gangs target Welshpool area

Created on 27/07/2010 @ 21:44
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Organised gangs targeting high-value items like quad bikes and power tools have Montgomeryshire in their sights, according to a survey.

NFU Mutual has revealed that half its agents believe crime has risen, with 92% pointing the finger at ‘outsiders’ targeting rural areas.Rural Wales targeted

It has become so critical that long-established Llanfair branch agent Wyn Jenkins believes many locals have almost accepted that theft is inevitable.

He said: “Over the past decade rural crime has increased to such a level that it is now accepted as a fact of life for people living and working in the countryside.

“What is noticeable is that thieves have become more organised in their activities and I was recently contacted by a local All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) dealer who had noticed a pattern of quad bike theft developing: it would appear that thieves were following delivery drivers, making a note of the location where ATVs had been delivered and then returning to steal them. This dealer has now been forced to change the way in which he delivers vehicles in an attempt to combat this type of crime.”

The survey revealed that ATVs, such as quad bikes, power tools and fuel were the most commonly stolen items in Wales.

And farmers in particular have been warned to be on their guard from opportunistic thieves who monitor patterns of behaviour and even use tea-breaks and lunchtime to strike.

The gangs have been operating in South Wales for several years and Police there launched a campaign to specifically tackle rural crime.

“In the Ogmore Valley, neighbourhood officers have launched a partnership initiative called Farm Watch. We would always encourage people to report suspicious incidents as they occur to enhance information and intelligence sharing between partners. The aim of Farm Watch is to develop a network of people to increase the flow of information about crime and anti-social behaviour between the farming and rural communities and the police.”

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