Rural insurer FMG says rural claims for theft and burglary are at a five-year high, but maybe just the tip of the iceberg. So Federated Farmers has decided to run another rural crime survey, in conjunction with police in March and April – just two years after the last survey – they are generally held every five years. Federated Farmers’ dairy chair Richard McIntyre says crime increases when the cost of living rises significantly and while many thefts are considered minor such as a chainsaw or a bit of fuel from the on-farm storage tank – many are never logged with police or insurance companies. Richard McIntyre says the day-to-day running of the farm often takes precedence locking sheds and homes, putting farm equipment away and removing keys from vehicles. He says some criminals however treat farmers’ livestock “like going to the supermarket or butchery”, regularly taking sheep or cattle from paddocks to replenish their freezers. He says the police are under resourced and cannot be everywhere but the survey and improved reporting of crime by farmers will go a long way towards helping police focus on the areas where their services can be best utilized.
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