The financial costs of agricultural crime is an unacceptable burden and one that cannot be written off as part and parcel of life in rural Ireland.
That is the blunt observation of ICSA president Patrick Keny, who was speaking following the publication of the second tranche of ICSA’s Agricultural Crime Survey undertaken with Waterford Institute of Technology. The focus of this tranche is the Financial Costs of Agricultural Crime in Ireland.
“We now have proof that agricultural crime is hitting farmers’ pockets at a time when most are struggling to make ends meet at all. Theft, vandalism and fly-tipping all have serious cost implications for farmers, as do increased insurance premiums when farmers have to make a claim. The report is hugely important as determining the costs of agricultural crime provides the justification for spending scarce resources on tackling the issue,” he said.
The results of the survey indicate for the first time the true costs of agricultural crime to the farm business. The report also found that many farmers were reluctant to report thefts due to the risk of rising insurance premiums. It found that on average farmers were willing to take a financial hit of €1,771.00 rather than report the incident.
Commenting on the survey findings ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock, said, “As well as the financial cost, there is also the unseen cost of fear and stress caused when your home or farm has been targeted by criminals. We are witnessing the whole fabric of rural society being decimated with farmers feeling more and more isolated and side-lined. Nobody should have to live in a state of constant fear and anxiety.”