Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Friday 22 September 2017

'Everywhere is vulnerable in rural Ireland now': New survey says two thirds of farmers hit by crime

The farming community are urged to review their security of farm machinery and in particular machinery stored in isolated areas. Photo: Steve Humphreys
The farming community are urged to review their security of farm machinery and in particular machinery stored in isolated areas. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Every part of rural Ireland is now vulnerable to crime with criminals using secondary roads and the motorway system to carry out their activities.

That’s according to Seamus Sherlock of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association which today published new research which suggests two thirds of farmers have been victims of crime.

Speaking on Newstalk radio this morning, Sherlock said rural crime is a 'major problem with every rural dweller up for grabs' and said green diesel, tools, trailers and livestock on a small scale are all being targeted on farms by criminals.

He also highlighted that the criminal activity is often seasonal citing the theft of bale wrap during the summer as a serious issue.

Sherlock warned farmers buying stolen property that  "there’s no such thing as a free lunch" and said "we are always telling farmers to buy form a reputable source."

Sherlock also said that farmers are not seeing evidence of Operation Thor the Gardai’s latest attempt to combat rural crime.

He also said farmers are disillusioned with the judicial system particularly in regard to its treatment of offenders with previous convictions.

"We see the same guys going in and going out and its farmers at the end of the day that are losing out," he said.

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Sherlock also highlighted that under reporting by farmers of criminal activity is also a serious issue suggesting that countless farm thefts go unreported.

"Farmers don’t want to be bothering the Gardai as they believe nothing can be done."

This altitude among farmers "couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said and added that the Gardai want to hear about these incidents.

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