New Analysis Shows Extent of Sheep Worrying

North Wales Police are using specially collated data to tackle the problem of sheep attacks in the region.

The gathering of accurate daily statistics by the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team shows the true extent of dog attacks on sheep in North Wales, which is an under reported national issue.

The analysis shows that in the last 12 months there were 108 separate incidents recorded, with most involving more than one sheep. The county with the highest incidents is Gwynedd with 27 recorded, nearly three times that of the Wrexham County, with 10.

The average number of attacks is nine a month. In one incident more than 30 sheep were attacked by a Rottweiler in Buckley.

PC Dave Allen of the RCT said; “At an early stage we identified that this was a problem for our farming communities, with many incidents going unreported and farmers often losing thousands of pounds, which is clearly unacceptable.”

The statistics also reveal that Friday is the day of the week when most attacks occur, substantially more than on a Monday, but it unclear why this is the case.

Sgt Rob Taylor of the Rural Crime Team said; “As a team we needed to decide what the real issues are with rural crime and we have achieved this by recording accurate daily statistics for all manner of incidents.

“This has led to significant drops in all rural incidents in North Wales, including sheep attacks. We have found that the only answer with such attacks is to take a zero tolerance approach with irresponsible dog owners. This has led to court cases and heavy fines.

“A dog owner recently lost an appeal against an order for both her dogs to be destroyed following a particular nasty incident Flintshire .”

PC Allen added; “It’s sad when dogs have to be destroyed through a court order, but we have found time and time again that once a dog attacks sheep it will attack again if given the chance.”

The North Wales Police Rural Crime team was established in September 2013 and is only one of a handful of dedicated teams in the UK. Their methods and impressive results have been attracting attention from all over the country and from abroad, with the head of Victoria Police Rural Crime in Australia due to visit the team in July to see their work at first hand.

The Rural Crime Team can be followed on Twitter @NWPRuralcrime