'Beware of bogus census operators'
Farmers are being warned to be on their guard over the coming weeks for bogus census enumerators calling as forms for this year's census are distributed.
Sergeant Brian Broderick, Crime Prevention Officer in Limerick, said that visits to farms by "bogus census officials is inevitable" as the work of distributing and collection of this year's census forms is carried out.
"The enumerators are instructed to wear high visibility CSO vests and to have their identity card clearly visible at all times. They will be calling on houses in rural areas up to 10pm and on Saturdays and Sundays. They are being instructed to go inside houses only on request of the householder if they want assistance in completing the form," he said.
"We know that some bogus operators will use the opportunity to try to get inside houses in rural areas and we are advising farmers to always ask to see identification and not to provide strangers with information on houses in their neighbourhood."
Sergeant Broderick said that there had also been a big increase in the number of incidences of farm diesel being stolen in recent weeks, because of the escalation in the price of fuel.
There are several products on the market which will make it more difficult for thieves to steal oil. But using locks can sometimes result in damage being caused to the tank and require the replacement of the tank and meeting the cost of the stolen oil said the Garda.
"Low-cost sodium bulb lighting can be effective, but I would also advise farmers to consider building a cage around the oil tank", he said.
He has also advised farmers against leaving trailers and cattle boxes where they can be easily accessed because of the increase in this type of thefts from farms. Preferably they should be kept in an area not accessible to strangers.