A SENIOR figure in farming in the region has welcomed the launch of a digital map to combat rural crime.
Information is being gathered to help North Wales Police collate a Rural Mapping System to identify land owners and boundaries more quickly when responding to machinery thefts and incidents of livestock worrying.
Police have worked with villagers near Wrexham to develop the system, which will be accessed via tablet computers and could be brought in to rural police across North Wales.
Gwynfor Jones, group secretary of the National Farmers Union (NFU) for Flintshire and Wrexham, urged other communities to follow suit.
He added: “I fully endorse what North Wales Police are trying to instigate and farmers in the area need to support it.
“Having co-ordinates for fields and knowledge of landowners will allow police to respond to rural crime faster. It will act as a deterrent.”
The map was developed as a result of a meeting between police and residents in Esclusham and Ponciau.
Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones has also supported the scheme.
She said: “I am extremely interested in this development and wholeheartedly support initiatives which help North Wales Police.
“I am sure this initiative will inspire other communities.”
The map will also help to correlate rural crime with another community police initiative, OWL.
OWL is an ‘online watch link’ connecting neighbourhood watch members and police through the internet, phone, and other means.
North Wales Police are urging more people and businesses to sign up to the system.
Denise Edwards, chief officer of Flintshire Neighbourhood Watch Association, said: “OWL helps make our communities stronger and more confident in the knowledge their Community Safety Partnerships in North Wales are working with the public to improve the quality of life for everyone lives, works and visit the area.”
Anyone wanting to forward their details for inclusion on the map can contact the NFU on 01978 291343. For more information on community messaging visit www.north-wales.police.uk