7th May 2021

Llanelli Online News

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Groups are targeting livestock farmers in mid-Wales, says crime panel

LIVESTOCK farmers are experiencing “serious vandalism on an organised basis” from groups opposed to it, a councillor has said.

Cllr Les George said this problem added to the quad bike thefts, sheep worrying and livestock rustling faced by “decent people” in rural areas.

He made the comments during a meeting of the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel, and asked the force’s commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn what he was doing about it.

“What steps will you take to ensure that the Chief Constable and his officers give these problems a high priority?” said Cllr George.

Mr Llywelyn said the force had launched a rural crime strategy, set up a new rural crime unit, and that Chief Constable Mark Collins was Wales’s lead officer for wildlife crime and rural affairs.

The commissioner said there has been some apathy among people in rural areas about reporting crime, but that this was being ddressed.

Referring to the measures undertaken, Mr Llywelyn said: “For me the impact has already been seen. In the last fortnight an illegal slaughter facility was uncovered.”

Two people have been arrested following the grim find of some 15 dead and living sheep at the facility in Pembrokeshire.

Cllr George, of Powys, said three quad bikes had been stolen in farmyards that he knew of in the last fortnight, including one case where the farmer had just popped into the cattle shed for 10 minutes, only to emerge and find it gone.

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“He is convinced the perpetrators were on the farm watching him,” he said.

“His wife and daughters now fear criminals on the premises.”

Mr Llywelyn said: “Sadly it is not an isolated incident.”

Dyed-Powys Police covers Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys, which is home to a large number of Wales’ rural towns and villages.

Last summer, Chief Inspector Richard Hopkin said feedback from farmers identified a possible lack of confidence in police, and that the force needed to “up its game” on rural crime.

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