A NEW campaign was launched this week to try to combat the problem of farm-related crime and thefts.
Every year thousands of tools, vehicles and farm machinery and equipment are stolen from farms throughout Ireland. Since 2010, over 28,642 farm related crime incidents have been reported to Garda, including burglaries and vehicle, machinery and equipment theft, according to the latest CSO figures. The most common incidents are thefts from farm yards, with over 2,000 incidents being reported every year since 2010. The next most common occurrence is theft from outhouses or sheds, followed by burglary.
Jointly organised by Crimestoppers, the Irish Farmers Association, an Garda Síochána and DoneDeal the campaign is aiming to raise awareness among the public and in particular those in the farming community, of the issue of thefts from farms. This initiative follows the joint campaign run by Crimestoppers and the IFA last year to combat livestock theft.
Farmers are being reminded to sign up to the TheftStop scheme (www.theftstop.ie). The joint initiative by the IFA and An Garda Síochána provides members with a unique Security ID. Members can then mark their machinery and equipment with this ID and upload an image of the item to the TheftStop site.
Information on any suspicious activity can be given anonymously to the Crimestoppers confidential telephone service by calling 1800 25 00 25. Alternatively, information can be provided to your local Garda station. Your call to Crimestoppers is free and anonymous and you might receive a reward for information.
Meanwhile, Finbarr Garland, customer safety liaison officer with DoneDeal, said that more and more farmers are using DoneDeal to buy and sell tractors and farm machinery. While only a tiny amount of these ads (0.76%) are reported as suspicious, he urged people using the site to heed tips on how to stay safe online.