'Tell police about farm thefts'

Not enough farmers reporting their losses.

Not enough farmers reporting their losses.

THE rural sector is plagued by thieves, rustlers and poachers, but not enough farmers have reported their losses.

Farmers need to get smarter about security, and work more closely with police to deter and catch offenders, Federated Farmers rural crime portfolio leader Rick Powdrell has said.

More than 1000 farmers from all over New Zealand responded to the online survey, and 26 percent have had stock stolen from them in the past five years.

“More than three percent had been hit by stock thieves five times or more since 2011.

“Around 35 percent of respondents suffered theft of stock or farm equipment in the past two years,” Mr Powdrell said.

Common targets included chainsaws, shearing gear, generators and fencing tools. Fuel was stolen from 25 percent, household items from eight percent and firearms from two percent.

“Nearly half of property thefts and 75 percent of stock rustling/killing were not covered by insurance, and of those that were, 40 to 50 percent of farmers did not make a claim, usually because of the excess on the policy.

“Nearly 60 percent of respondents had not reported stock theft to police and 38 percent had not reported stolen property.”

Mr Powdrell said common reasons cited included farmers did not think police would be interested.

“Police resources were stretched or the theft was discovered days or weeks later.

“Reporting crime helps police build a comprehensive picture of what, where and at what time crime is happening so they can direct their resources accordingly.

“Reported crime also underpins the case for extra police resourcing for rural areas,” he said.

The October survey showed farmers were adopting deterrent measures themselves.

“Some 38 percent have installed sensor lights, 20 percent security cameras and 35 percent placed their dog kennels by sheds.

“However, 47 percent said they did not have locks on sheds.”

THE rural sector is plagued by thieves, rustlers and poachers, but not enough farmers have reported their losses.

Farmers need to get smarter about security, and work more closely with police to deter and catch offenders, Federated Farmers rural crime portfolio leader Rick Powdrell has said.

More than 1000 farmers from all over New Zealand responded to the online survey, and 26 percent have had stock stolen from them in the past five years.

“More than three percent had been hit by stock thieves five times or more since 2011.

“Around 35 percent of respondents suffered theft of stock or farm equipment in the past two years,” Mr Powdrell said.

Common targets included chainsaws, shearing gear, generators and fencing tools. Fuel was stolen from 25 percent, household items from eight percent and firearms from two percent.

“Nearly half of property thefts and 75 percent of stock rustling/killing were not covered by insurance, and of those that were, 40 to 50 percent of farmers did not make a claim, usually because of the excess on the policy.

“Nearly 60 percent of respondents had not reported stock theft to police and 38 percent had not reported stolen property.”

Mr Powdrell said common reasons cited included farmers did not think police would be interested.

“Police resources were stretched or the theft was discovered days or weeks later.

“Reporting crime helps police build a comprehensive picture of what, where and at what time crime is happening so they can direct their resources accordingly.

“Reported crime also underpins the case for extra police resourcing for rural areas,” he said.

The October survey showed farmers were adopting deterrent measures themselves.

“Some 38 percent have installed sensor lights, 20 percent security cameras and 35 percent placed their dog kennels by sheds.

“However, 47 percent said they did not have locks on sheds.”

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