Skip to content

Reporting thefts from farms

July 31, 2016

In addition to bearing financial costs for farming communities, rural crime also bears significant social impacts. Implementation of prevention tactics and techniques is, therefore, essential to reducing farmer victimisation.

Thefts from farms can be either opportunistic (eg box of chemicals, a few sheep) or targeted (eg firearms, machinery etc).

Incredibly important is the need for thefts from farms to be reported. Associate Professor Elaine Barclay from the University of New England surveyed farmers in NSW in 2001 and again in 2014 and found that only about half of crime experienced is reported to police.


Why are many thefts from farms not reported?

Barclay’s research and responses to the Victorian Farm Crime Research Project surveys indicate similar reasons for non-reporting.

Some of the reasons offered by farmers for not reporting thefts are concerns about aspects of the criminal justice system: for example, a belief that police are not able to do anything; a perception that police do not have agricultural knowledge; a worry that police won’t take it seriously; and hassles of the legal process.

Concerns about not having any or insufficient evidence are also commonly cited: a feeling that the crime not serious enough to report; unable to prove ownership of stolen property; not sure a crime has occurred; and a belief that too much time had passed.

There also exist what can be categorised as community concerns: the offender was known / living in a small community; fear of revenge; farmer solved themselves; and did not want the media to get hold of the story.


Why is reporting important?

Police, legislators, policy makers, farming communities, and individual farmers themselves will benefit if we can formulate a clear, accurate picture of offending. Limited resources will always be deployed where they are needed, first and foremost. Apprehension of offenders, too, is only possible if police know that crime has occurred.


From → Rural Crime

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: