New campaign looks to tackle farm-related thefts in rural Ireland

It is encouraging farmers to sign up to the TheftStop scheme

New campaign looks to tackle farm-related thefts in rural Ireland

Pictured left to right: IFA President Joe Healy, customer safety liaison officer with Done Deal Finbarr Garland, and Crimestoppers Chairperson Tim Dalton | Image: RollingNews.ie

A new campaign has been launched to try combat the problem of farm-related crime and thefts.

Every year thousands of tools, vehicles, farm machinery and equipment are stolen from farms throughout Ireland.

Since 2010, over 28,642 farm-related crime incidents have been reported to gardaí.

The most common incidents are thefts from farm yards, with over 2,000 being reported every year since 2010.

The next most common occurrence is theft from outhouses or sheds, followed by burglary.

The initiative is jointly organised by Crimestoppers, the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), An Garda Síochána and DoneDeal.

It is is aiming to raise awareness among the public, and in particular those in the farming community, of the issue.

This follows the joint campaign run by Crimestoppers and the IFA last year to combat livestock theft.

Confidential system

As part of the programme, farmers are being reminded to sign up to the TheftStop scheme.

It provides members with a unique security ID members can mark their machinery and equipment with, and upload an image of the item to the website.

"Marked and branded items are significantly less attractive to criminals to steal as they'll be more easily recognisable by the public and harder to sell on", the campaign says.

Information on any suspicious activity can be given anonymously to the Crimestoppers confidential telephone service on 1800-25-00-25.

Chairman of Crimestoppers, Tim Dalton, said: We provide a fully confidential means for every citizen to report crime, without fear of recrimination."

"Calls are free and the information is given completely anonymously. The service consistently elicits very valuable information to assist investigations in both rural and urban Ireland," he added.

IFA President Joe Healy added: "Theft Stop is one of a number of initiatives that IFA is working on for farm families and people living in rural communities."

"In the last 10 months, it has been rolled out across 12 counties - Laois, Offaly, Kilkenny, Galway, Cavan, Monaghan, Cork, Cavan, Limerick, Meath, Sligo and Leitrim."

"We recognise the importance of providing support and assistance to our members because of the prevalence of crime in rural communities."

And Finbarr Garland is customer safety liaison officer with DoneDeal.

"More and more farmers are using DoneDeal to buy and sell tractors and farm machinery - over 830,442 farming related ads were placed on our site in the last five years", he said.

"In the last 12 months, 18,121 tractors were advertised and 31,422 items of farm machinery."

"While only a tiny amount of these ads (0.76%) are reported as suspicious, we regularly remind those using our site of tips on how to stay safe online," he added.