Livelihoods for Northern Ireland farmers on the risk, as the cost of rural crime Hits £2.6 m: report

  • Livelihoods for Northern Ireland farmers on the risk, as the cost of rural crime Hits £2.6 m: report
    FarmIreland.t. E.
    Rural crime in Northern Ireland cost £ 2.6 million a year, a report warns.
    https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/agri-business/northern-ireland-farmers-livelihoods-at-risk-as-cost-of-rural-crime-hits-26m-report-37190921.html
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Rural crime in Northern Ireland cost £ 2.6 million a year, a report warns.

Farms are being targeted – in some cases twice in a few days – thieves are using increasingly sophisticated methods.

This forces many farmers to change their way of life, with some resorting to “medieval” methods to stop the criminals.

The stark warning comes as figures show the cost of rural crime is on the rise. The bill of £2.6 million in 2017 amounted to 5.3% compared with the previous year, the analysis of insurance companies, the NFU mutual found.

His report rural crime shows, Quad bikes and ATVs (all terrain vehicles), livestock and tractors are the biggest targets for thieves.

The Union of farmers of Ulster’ (UFU) has warned that crime is putting some farmers ‘ livelihoods in danger. He called for the courts to impose tougher sentences for rural crime.

According to the last agricultural census in Northern Ireland there are around 25,000 farms and farmers 30300.

The number of farms and workers has increased over the past 15 years, but also the cost of crime. In 2017, the cost to industry of £2.6 m – more than in Wales (£1.9 m) and Scotland (£1.5 m). The largest expenses were in England, including the Midlands (£8.8 m) and South East (£7.6 m), the NFU mutual found.

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The official Urfu James O’brien said thieves are becoming more bold.

“Rural crime has long-term impact on farm families, who can quite literally find their livelihoods under threat overnight,” he said. “Criminals are sophisticated in homes and organizations, their purpose. They are selective about what they take and won’t think twice before again attacking the same farm, sometimes for several days. The net result is that in all rural areas, now people feel isolated and vulnerable in their own home”.

Said Mr O’brien was the duty of the courts to take more stringent measures. “We remain deeply unhappy that, despite the efforts of the farmers to take to protect their property and SPSI attacks on rural offenders, the sentences the courts impose do not reflect the magnitude of the threat to rural life and livelihood”, he added.

The report notes that limited resources of the police and to repeat the attack the biggest fears for people in rural communities.

The report also describes some of the farmers Association “medieval methods” with high-tech security to prevent the crime.

Some use earth banks, fences and high security one access point to “strengthen” their economy.

Martin Malone from NFU mutual said: “there is widespread concern in Northern Ireland that a new generation of brazen criminals are targeting areas and overcoming them electronic security measures to steal expensive equipment and vehicles.”

He added: “adaptation of the centuries-old security with high-tech solutions have already been successful in accordance with thieves Bay, who is not afraid to be caught on camera and have the skills to overcome electronic security systems”.

According to Mr. Malone, farmers also use tracking devices and immobilizers for vehicles, CCTV, dashcams, motion sensors, infrared observations and the water marks in their yards.

DNA markers were used to protect the sheep from the rustlers, he explained.

SPSI, said that while the cost of rural crime is increasing, reducing the number of agricultural crimes in 2017. Last year, 497 cases had been recorded for farmers – down to 63 by 2016.

The number of burglaries, robberies and crimes, thefts associated with agricultural activities there has been an overall downward trend since 2010/11.

NIPs superintendent Brian Kee said that the police remains committed to the reduction of crime in rural areas.

“In response to this concern, we are working with our colleagues in the rural crime partnership (RCP), and in may of this year, a scheme of subsidy support, particularly for people living in rural areas were launched,” he commented.

“This program aims to help cope with the growing number of thefts of Quad bikes and trailers, encouraging owners to fit an electronic tracking device to actively prevent theft and help police return if the goods are stolen.

“To combat the trend, the RCP subsidizes the cost, tracking device supplied and installed for small items of agricultural machinery”.

‘The thieves took two trucks … and tried to steal my tractor’

Gary Kerr, a farmer in Lisburn, had two stolen trailers — box trailer and a flatbed trailer using his pickup truck 4×4.

The thieves also tried to load your tractor on the flatbed and take it away.

The tablet has been in daily use, and both the trailer was moved away from the building to stop them from damage during strong winds and stormy weather in November.

“The vehicle is not in its accustomed place, so it would be hard to say whether it was an opportunistic theft,” Mr. Kerr said.

“It seems that the degree of planning.

“A neighbor his car was stolen around the same time that it was restored to 40 kilometers in a few months, but there was no sign of the trailers.”

Mr. Kerr has replaced some of the stolen items.

He added: “no scheme farm watch is in place, but we heard about suspicious activity going on from time to time.

“The initial reaction from the police and nfu Mutual were good, but we decided to replace one of those trailers in the end.”

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