A RISE in sheep being stolen and slaughtered across Warwickshire has prompted a call for more police officers to tackle rural crime.
Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western is set to meet Environment Secretary Michael Gove to discuss the increase in rural crime across the county.
Nearly 30 sheep have been stolen from Warwickshire fields in recent months, with similar incidents reported in surrounding counties.
Mr Western said: “Ewe slaughter is a highly distressing crime that comes at great economic cost to farmers and inflicts needless suffering on their animals.
“Going forward I will be working with the Secretary of State, Police and Crime Commissioner Phillip Seccombe and the National Farmers Union to urgently introduce measures that protect our local farmers.
‘Additional police resources are needed to catch people committing these crimes, both in terms of more police officers and greater investment into intelligence.
“There also needs to be sufficient deterrents in terms of sentencing for those committing the crimes and strong fines for businesses caught dealing in the stolen meat.”