#Ploughing16: IFA set to launch a home and farm security checklist

A checklist to help farmers assess and improve their farm and home security will be launched at the ploughing championships.

Developed by the Irish Farmers’ Association, it poses questions on a number of farm security aspects, and offers tips and advice on how to improve it. Topics covered will include home, livestock, land, vehicles, outhouses, tools, machinery and fuel security.

More than 28,642 farm-related crime incidents have been reported to gardaí since 2010, according to the latest Central Statistic Office (CSO) figures.

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

IFA president Joe Healy said this initiative is part of the association’s ongoing efforts to combat crime in rural communities.

These include campaigning for increased Garda resources and the rolling out of Theft Stop, a crime prevention initiative developed in conjunction with An Garda Síochána.

“This checklist will get farmers thinking about what they can do to make their home and farm more secure and to reduce the risk of being targeted by criminals.

“It will prompt them to consider where security might be lacking on their farm, and offers practical advice and tips on how to improve matters,” he said.

IFA rural crime prevention executive Colin Connolly will be available on the IFA stand to offer visitors security advice and insight based on his experience as a former garda.

Jer Bergin, IFA national treasurer, has meanwhile welcomed the Garda recruitment campaign announced by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald. “We expect that rural Ireland will benefit from the announced recruitment and that the minister will ensure that additional Garda resources are allocated right across the country,” he said.

Mr Bergin said many farmers and other rural dwellers are currently living in real fear for their personal safety.

“The continued recruitment of new Garda members, and their allocation in rural areas, or the reallocation of experienced gardaí to rural areas, will go a long way to restoring a sense of security to rural dwellers,” he said.

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