Year in Review: A story in October about rural communities using CCTV cameras to catch stock poachers caught the attention of The Counrty's audience. This was one of our most popular articles of 2017.
Rural communities fighting back against stock poaching are having success with CCTV cameras.
Recently a 27-year-old Whanganui man was filmed throwing sheep guts off the Kai Iwi Bridge just a few weeks after cameras were installed.
The incident occurred on March 21 and the footage led to the man being caught and charged seven days later, Senior Sergeant Shane Wainhouse said.
He will appear in the Whanganui District Court on Friday for sentencing.
Wanganui Rural Community Board chairman David Matthews said over the years stock theft had been getting worse.
"And it's not just a fellow going to bang one over just for his household," he said.
"It's jokers that go out and take half a dozen and then go to process them and sell them on and then a couple of nights later go back and have another go.
"And this has been happening all the time."
Late last year a Fordell farm lost 1400 lambs worth about $120,000 to theft and a few weeks before that 30 sheep were stolen from a farmlett near Kaitoke.
But Mr Matthews said the rural road CCTV cameras being installed around the region were helping.
For the past 10 years Whanganui resident Graham Palamountain has been working with rural communities to install CCTV number plate cameras on their roads.
Mr Palamountain and his wife Glenda own Town & Country TV and Surveillance and have been setting up rural cameras all around the North Island.
"After we installed the first lot on Rangitatau East Road and people saw the results it was getting, communities all around Whanganui started getting them."
In the Whanganui region alone Mr Palamountain has installed over 14 number plate cameras as well as surveillance for wool sheds, honey complexes and dairy sheds.
He said the cameras have made a huge difference to what's happening on rural roads.
"Once the roads are recorded at least 50 to 60 per cent of night time traffic disappears and the crime factor drops."
Mr Palamountain said at the moment he has been analysing different areas in Whanganui and looking to get the best results for the community.
Mr Matthews said he has also been working with local communities to get more of the cameras installed on the River Rd, up the Parapara and on Fields Track.
"In the past farmers have just tolerated it but I have been having lots of conversations
with farmers, beekeepers and lifestyle owners to get them to help foot the bill to get more installed....the board will also put money into the pool."
Mr Palamountain said the cost of the cameras vary but they are usually between $3000 to $10,000.
Mr Wainhouse agreed that the rural cameras had proven to be an effective method for catching poachers and the more that can be installed the better.
"It gives us an ability to monitor whose coming and going from the rural areas and identify vehicles and occupants."
In June Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie's Sentencing (Livestock Rustling) Amendment Bill was drawn from the ballot to go before Parliament.
This bill is designed to deter people from engaging in livestock rustling, by identifying it as an aggravating factor at sentencing.