Rural crime and policing were on the agenda when North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin called in to see FUW President Glyn Roberts at his farm near Betws y Coed.
For Glyn, who farms Dylasau Uchaf, Padog with his daughter Beca Glyn it was an opportunity to discuss the latest initiatives to detect and combat crime such as collars that detect when stock are running, gauges that indicate a diesel tank is being emptied and even pressure pads under quad bikes.
The information is transmitted back to the farm computer using new wireless technology known as LoRaWAN (Low Power Long Range Wide Area Access Network).
Also present was Police Sergeant Liam Jones who has been recently appointed to lead the North Wales Rural crime team and the meeting was an opportunity for the FUW to emphasise that maintaining and strengthening the rural crime team is imperative for the future.
Other initiatives such as making sure farmers get to know the members of the team who work in their local areas by patrolling livestock markets is welcomed, and the importance of using new technology in preventing and detecting crime was also discussed.
Glyn Roberts, FUW President said: “We had an extremely positive and constructive meeting, and we feel it is extremely important that as an Union we have a good dialogue and rapport with the police. We have worked in partnership, and this has brought enormous benefits in efforts to tackle crime, and also changes to the law relating to livestock being attacked by dogs.
“We’re glad that this good working relationship will continue into the future under the leadership of Andy Dunbobbin. We encourage our members to sign up to the new Community Alert service in order for them to receive up to date information on local crime. It was great to hear that progress is being made in Cardiff and Westminster on the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill which should give the police greater powers in respect of dogs attacking or worrying livestock, which we welcome.”
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin said: “Tackling rural crime is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan so we can provide a first-class police service for people who live in the countryside as well as the urban areas of North Wales.
“I’m fully committed to ensuring people and businesses in our rural communities receive their fair share of our policing resources and the Chief Constable has assured me he will consider this when deciding on operational matters.
“Amongst other things I am backing the new Future Farms initiative to showcase LoRaWAN at six demonstration farms.
“Information about the high-tech kit and its effectiveness will be available on a new website, www.futurefarms.cymru with the aim of beefing up farm security to combat rural crime.