One of the most developed agricultural sectors in the Valencian Community, that of Pilar de la Horadada, has demanded a greater police presence in the fields and greenhouses surrounding the municipality. Farmers have constantly warned of the frequency of theft of machinery, especially generators and pumps, which are sold on the black market and they say that the situation is just getting worse.

With the aim of coordinating actions to tackle the problem, representatives of the agricultural sector were summoned to a meeting by the mayor and the Councillor for Agriculture, José María Pérez Sánchez, with the organisations and security forces responsible for surveillance in rural areas.

The meeting was attended by teams of the Civil Guard, who are specialised in the work of Security in agricultural areas, Local Police and Civil Protection, and covered a variety of subjects including surveillance, monitoring and control in rural areas

However the Civil Guard stressed that without formal complaints being made, police reinforcements cannot be provided in the area, so they urged those affected to register each robbery with a formal denuncia.

Farmers remarked how complicated it is to make denuncias at the police headquarters in Torre del Pilar, something that can see a delay of several days. The mayor, who until taking office was the MD of an agricultural company, said that the local police theft surveillance unit will be changing it’s patrol patterns so that all Local Police shifts are able to carry out surveillance tasks in the agricultural terraces.

The mayor said that he also wants to involve, not only the Civil Guard and its municipal agents, but also the members of the National Police assigned to the Autonomous Police, that have powers for such functions.

The Councillor for Public Safety, Marina Sáez, who coordinated the meeting, said that “We are an agricultural town, an industry that generates 20% of our employment. We have many hectares of fields, crops, greenhouses and warehouses, and theft and damage causes significant loss which puts the sector at risk”.