IFA: Dedicated rural crime task force needed



In response to recent figures made available by An Garda Síochána, IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy said the reduction in household burglaries is welcome, but the figures confirm there is still a problem.

  “We acknowledge that the Gardaí have stepped up their efforts in targeting gangs operating in rural areas by increasing the number of patrols and checkpoints,” he said.

  Richard Kennedy added that while it was good to see the downward trend, he was concerned that some household burglaries go unreported and encouraged people to report crimes to Gardaí.

  He said there have been incidents of cross-border crime in recent months. IFA and the UFU have called for the establishment of a dedicated Rural Crime Task Force, specifically focused on border counties. Their call follows an increase in the incidents of cattle theft in the area, which have had a devastating effect on the local communities.

  “A more streamlined crime reporting system, immediate sharing of intelligence, and information exchange would increase the level of visibility and awareness, particularly where crime has been reported in border areas,” he said.

  UFU President Ivor Ferguson said: “Over the last year, several serious incidents have occurred on farms in the region. The culprits are moving with ease and without fear of detection on both sides of the border, while farmers and rural dwellers live in real fear for their safety, which is compounded by geographic and service isolation. Theft of valuables from rural homes and of livestock and machinery from farms is also a major concern”.