Theft of 33 sheep sparks renewed calls for security

Police appeal for information
Police appeal for information

Police have renewed their appeal for witnesses after 33 sheep were stolen from a farm in Slaidburn.

The Swaledale sheep, that have a UK mark of 18, 26, 46 and a horn burn of TR, were targeted at 11am on August 8th. Police investigations are continuing into the theft and officers are urging residents, whether from the farming community or not, to keep their eyes open and report anything suspicious.

A spokesman for Lancashire Constubulary said: “We need the public’s help to call in if they witness any suspicious individuals or vehicles near Ribble Valley farms. We also need people to contact us if they notice suspicious movements of animals, or animals appearing in fields unexpectedly.”

In addition, police are advising farmers to be on their guard and to check on livestock regularly to try to prevent any rustling.

The spokesman added: “Check the security of boundary fencing and hedging and make regular checks of fields where animals are kept to ensure fences are not breached.”

According to insurer NFU Mutual’s 2017 Rural Crime Report, rural crime cost Lancashire £1.3m. last year. The report revealed criminals continue to target Land Rover Defenders, quad bikes, tractors, tools and livestock despite increased security on farms. Because of this, in some parts of the region, farmers are having to turn their farmyards into fortresses.

Tim Price, from the insurers, said: “Countryside criminals are becoming more brazen, and our annual survey of attitudes indicates that many farmers now feel under siege. Across the country they’re turning their farmyards into fortresses to protect their homes, families and property.” Anyone with information regarding the sheep theft should call police on 101.