Donegal Gardai have appealed to the farming community to mark their vehicles and trailers as robberies continue across the county.
The warning was issued as a booklet was produced by An Garda Síochána in partnership with the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) to assist in preventing farm related crime and builds on the success of existing good crime prevention practices throughout the country.
This initiative was originally piloted in Donegal and is being launched in Tipperary prior to eventual national rollout from 2014 onwards.
Farm Security is a priority for An Garda Síochána, particularly in the context of curbing increases in the commission of Metal Theft crimes around the country, which have unfortunately included the theft of items, such as farm machinery and farm gates.
Sergeant Paul Wallace Divisional Crime Prevention Officer based at Letterkenny Garda Station and Mr. Davie Keith Regional Development Officer with the I.F.A based in Raphoe who piloted the scheme in Donegal attended the launch and jointly addressed the attendance on the experience in Donegal.
Davie Keith informed those in attendance ‘ The marking scheme is being well received in Donegal and is administered by IFA in Raphoe it is interesting to note there have been no thefts of trailers or equipment to date which are part of the initiative and marked’.
Sgt Paul Wallace noted ‘ The response from the farming community has been good, but success cannot be gauged until all trailers and other farming equipment .i.e quads, power washers tools and equipment are marked and part of the scheme, this would be a desirable objective from a crime prevention point of view. The fact that the PSNI have the same initiative north of the border enhances the effort to reduce farm theft’.
At the Launch, Members of An Garda Síochaná and the IFA unveiled a new overt marking / identification system for items of farm machinery, tractors and quads etc.
This unique marking is intended to act as both, as a crime prevention deterrent, and as a detection measure, enabling Gardaí to more easily trace items back to their owners.
According to Assistant Commissioner Jack Nolan, “Crime Prevention is everybody’s business, and partnership initiatives such as this Farm Security Booklet, will support mutually beneficial endeavours in preventing, reducing and detecting farm-related crime”.