Rural Crime: Watch out for your neighbour!

Farmers are being urged to look out for each other and be aware of what cover their insurance policies provide following a spate of recent thefts in Counties Roscommon and Galway.

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has this week spoken out following a number of thefts in Co. Galway of farm machinery, trailers, power tools and garden machinery.

Deputy Fitzmaurice said it was vital that farmers became aware of what their farm insurance policy covers.

“While it may cover them for public liability etc., there might not be any cover when it comes to the theft of machinery,” he said.

“There have been a worrying number of reports of farm machinery, particularly trailers, being stolen of late – with power tools and garden machinery also taken.

“For peace of mind, I would encourage farmers to approach their insurance providers and find out exactly what their policy covers,” he said.

On the recent increase in thefts, Deputy Fitzmaurice called on farmers and those living in rural areas to remain vigilant of any suspicious activity.

“Farmers and people living in rural Ireland need to continue looking out for one another and report any suspicious activity in their area to the Gardaí.

“It is very sad that every farm gate or shed door now needs to be locked tight for fear of items being stolen,” he said.

“It appears as if the thieves are getting information locally or extensively scouting areas out before making their move, as you would not believe where some of the thefts have been carried out.

“I would encourage anyone with information on any robberies to make contact with the Gardaí. As has been the case for generations, farmers and others living in rural Ireland need to look out for one another.

“Putting distinguishable marks on machinery and trailers is recommended, as well as being part of the local community watch groups who often circulate information of suspicious activity in an area.

“A regular Garda presence and community engagement are needed to thwart these thieves, who are cherry picking items which people have worked hard to purchase,” he concluded.