Farmers warned of suspicious van at market

By Twm Owen in Local People

Police are continuing to raise awareness of crimes targeting the farming community by visiting local livestock markets.

At Talgarth market this morning farmers were warned by the auctioneer of a suspicious vehicle in the area.

PCSO Lee Garrett, of the Brecon Neighbourhood Policing Team, visited the Talgarth market.

He said: "We had reports of a suspicious vehicle, a van, in the area last night and I was able to go this morning and tell the farmers.

"There are 200 pairs of eyes now and even the auctioneer mentioned it at the start of the auction. That’s spreading the message throughout the whole farming community."

Police have also issued security advice to farmers including to regularly check fields where animals are grazing and installing CCTV in barns and farm yards.

Farmers have also been encouraged to take photographs of particularly valuable animals.

PCSO Garrett said their presence has been welcomed by farmers and he believes it is increasing the reporting of crimes.

"We’ve had a very good response and farmers are working with us and reporting suspicious incidents. By visiting the markets we are getting to know the local farmers and they are also telling us about other issues such as the suspicious vehicle."

Dyfed-Powys Police has launched operation Jasper in response to an increase in livestock thefts.

From August 1 last year to the beginning of January said 21 livestock offences had been reported to police locally.

A total of 650 sheep and goats were reported as stolen with sheep accounting for around 90% of the stolen animals.