Wednesday 14 November 2018: Speaker Roy Robinson; Topic “Rural Crime”
Mr Robinson was introduced by Chairman Paddy McGowan as a life-long friend; they had grown up on neighbouring farms close to the border in Co Fermanagh. Roy began by talking about his life as a salesman before joining the PSNI. He was stationed in Omagh from 1995 to 1999 and was one of the first on the scene when the bomb went off in August 1998. In his current role as Chair of the Rural Crime Border Committee he works closely with the Garda Sciohana in the fight against rural crime in the border counties. The worst offenders typically own some land with out-buildings where they can hide stolen cattle and sheep. Then using tags and documents which have been fraudulently acquired the livestock is marketed across the border. Happily the Police and Guards are getting on top of the racket with the number of successful prosecutions rising and the number of crimes reported falling. Machinery theft continues to be an issue but today’s farmers are very security conscious, many fitting concealed trackers and keeping valuable equipment in barricaded compounds over-looked by CCTV cameras. Chief Inspector Robinson’s talk gave rise to many questions and the appreciation of all present.