The Offaly branch of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) this week has issued a serious warning to farmers in the county to be extra vigilant to the threats of farm crime on the back of a spate of recent thefts.
Farm and rural crime has become more and more prevalent with an increase of 5% being noted in 2010 from 2009. In recent weeks and months, farmers across the country have been noticing an increase in robberies and other crimes taking place in and around their farms. The most common items being targeted are fuel supplies, batteries from tractors, scrap metal, quad bikes, livestock and even tractors.
The ICSA met with the Garda Commissioner at the launch of the ‘Supporting Safer Communities’ campaign that was launched at Store Street Garda Station in Dublin this week.
William Reid of Offaly ICSA said: “It was great meeting with the Gardaí at their launch. They are taking the whole issue of farm and rural crime incredibly seriously. There has been a notable increase in farm crime in the past year wit official figure rising over 5% in 2010 from 2009 and this is a very worrying trend indeed. Farmers and their communities must be vigilant when dealing with this. As with these cases, communities working together can often be the best way to tackle crime.
“Farmers are particularly at risk due the highly valuable assets that most of us possess. These assets, in most instances, also have a very fast resale opportunity which is bad news for the farmer. Items can be stolen and sold on in a very short space which is incredibly worrying.
“While we can’t patrol all of our lands, all of the time we must be vigilant to ensure this is not a regular occurrence.”