Joining forces to tackle oil thefts

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As part of a recently launched GuardCam scheme, Moyle Neighbourhood Policing Team and Moyle Policing and Community Safety Partnership have combined forces with the local churches to help prevent oil thefts in the district.

The security camera and lighting system, GuardCam, was funded by Moyle PCSP and promoted by the police throughout the council area after it was identified that certain buildings could be vulnerable to oil thefts. Many of the buildings identified were parish halls and churches, especially in isolated rural areas.

After a campaign to promote the scheme among churches in the area, a special event took place the Moyle District Council on Tuesday 8 October to distribute the equipment and provide an opportunity for the recipients to meet others with similar concerns. A significant number of GuardCams were distributed and one of the recipients spoke for many when he said: “We are delighted to have this equipment and all of us are confident that installing this technology will mean our buildings will be much less vulnerable to oil thefts, of which some us have already been victims and for all of us is always a concern.”

In her welcoming remarks, the chair of Moyle PCSP, stated: “I think that the timing for the installation of this equipment is just right. We are coming into the winter months when heating oil is being delivered and therefore a period when oil thefts may begin to rise throughout the district. It is a significant and welcome initiative which will further the prevention and reduction of this type of crime as well as providing community reassurance.”

Ballymoney and Moyle Area Commander, Chief Inspector Brenda Cairns, picked up on this point: “Churches and places of worship are community assets and the community have a right to expect that they are protected. This scheme will compliment the work of our neighbourhood policing teams and send a message to criminals that we, alongside the community, will not tolerate their activities. Working in partnership with the churches and Moyle PCSP has been extremely useful and we are confident that the scheme will be a success into the future.”