A woman who had eight miniature horses stolen from her farm in Christchurch has launched a campaign calling for more police in rural areas after suffering continuing attempted raids at her farm.
On Thursday night Jo Everett came close to being hit by a car as intruders drove at her down the farm track.
“I was trying to stop them getting on to our property. I stood in the middle of the track and the car reversed back and I thought they were leaving, but then they just started driving towards me at speed. They stopped just short of hitting me – it was terrifying,” said Jo.
“We have had at least eight or nine further attempted raids with intruders coming on to our property. The police just don’t have the resources to keep coming out. They have to prioritise crimes but every crime is a priority to the victim – we all pay our taxes which go towards services and we expect to have that service when we need it,” she added.
Jo’s online petition is aimed at getting government action following her experiences after the horses were stolen from the Sixteen Foot three weeks ago.
All eight of the horses have now been recovered with the last one, Barbie, being brought home on Sunday after an anonymous tip-off gave her location.
The other seven horses were recovered in a police operation around a week after they were taken – most were malnourished, dehydrated and had injuries but are now recovering well back at home.
“We are amazingly lucky to get our horses back. People have been amazing, we have had people from all over the country helping us find them, and I can never express how grateful we are, but not everyone is as lucky as us,” she said.
Jo and her husband Dan want to raise awareness of the problems of rural crime and the lack of police numbers making it difficult to tackle.
She said: “I have had so many people contact me who have had horses, dogs and other animals stolen – it is a real issue but I have been told that without data the government won’t act. I want people to sign the petition, but also to tell us about their experiences. We need facts and figures to show.”
A police spokesman said: “The force has commissioned a local policing review to create a sustainable policing model for the next three to five years. Any savings made as a result will be reinvested into the frontline to strengthen our ability to keep people safe and attack criminality.”