Farm thefts nationally may have fallen by 8% in the last year, but Gardaí have warned against complacency in Kilkenny. Shocking statistics have found that around 1 in 3 tractors stolen from farms are stolen with the key, while around 3 in 4 vans stolen from farms are stolen with the key and 1 in 6 quad bikes are stolen with the key. "Store keys safely; too many vehicles are taken from farms with the key in them. Join a Community Text Alert scheme and report suspicious activity to Gardaí,” said Sergeant Graham Kavanagh.
Sergeant Kavanagh also urged farmers to ensure that machinery, tools and vehicles are secured properly, and details such as serial numbers or property markings are recorded and photographed.
Gardaí are also advising farmers to lock gates and light up their yards to help prevent thefts from farms. Incidents in the last 12 months were more likely to occur at night than during the day, so Gardai are advising farmers to keep their farms well lit;
"Farms are businesses and as such I would advise each farmer to restrict access to their yard, lock gates when not in use and ensure the property is well lit; more farm thefts occur at night than during the day.” said Sergeant Kavanagh.
The most commonly stolen items in the last 12 months were animals, tools, vehicles, trailers and farming equipment. There were just over 100 incidents of farm animal theft. The value of the animals stolen was approximately €350,000 with cattle accounting for over half of this total. There were just over 200 incidents of tools being stolen from farms, with a total value of approximately €260,000. Meanwhile approximately 150 vehicles were stolen from farms, while there were almost 100 trailers stolen, valued at approximately €222,000.There were 260 incidents where farming equipment was stolen from farms. The value of farming equipment stolen was approximately €220,000.
These figures are released as the Gardaí launch their marquee at the National Ploughing Championships 2018. They will be providing crime prevention advice on farm security at the marquee, as well as personal safety and home security advice.