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News - Farmers of Gwent use electronic assistance to combat agricultural crime

Date: 15/04/2014 11:15:48
Category: Agricultural machinery tracking
Author: Richard Towey

Farmers around the Welsh county of Gwent are full of praise for an online crime-reporting system which has triggered a huge drop in illicit activities around their area, reports fwi.co.uk.

Online Watch Link - or OWL for short - sends email, phone or SMS crime alerts out to its subscribers, warning them of recent incidents around their locality.

The system is the driving force behind a 27 per cent reduction in agricultural crime over the five months leading up to January 2014. This coincided with OWL's member base growing from 300 up to 800 during the same period, meaning even more improvements could be just around the corner.

Farminguk.com says rural-related crime can include anything from crimes against animals to the theft of farm machinery, the latter being a key issue for farmers around Britain.

Gwent Police Farm Watch coordinator Alan Mills is the first point of contact for any reports of suspicious activity and has played a huge part in achieving the results.

He considers farmers to be a "special group" due to their isolation but feels OWL can help "break down barriers" in communication.

"The system has enabled us to have a more coordinated approach to tackling farm crime in rural Gwent and allows us to gather vital information to share with the local policing unit commanders," he added.

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