Rural communities under siege

Eoghan - Sept. 18, 2019, 12:58 p.m.

Rural crime which includes damage and theft of farming equipment and livestock has increased dramatically over the last 10 years. Farmers and landowners are becoming increasingly frightened as figures reveal rural crime is on the rise. Tractors, machinery and other farm equipment are some of the most popular targets for theft in rural areas. Fear of crime is changing life in Irish countryside. Farmers and landowners are getting more and more anxious, to the point of feeling isolated in their rural locations but also like they can't leave.

From constant reports of thefts and suspicious vehicles to criminals regularly staking out farms, rural people feel under siege.

Insurance companies are advising people living and working in the countryside to remain vigilant, regularly evaluate security measures and report any suspicious activity to Gardai.

Farmers are trying their best to keep one step ahead of thieves. Electronic devices like infra-red beams which send alerts to mobile phones and geo-fencing, which triggers an alarm if tractors go beyond farm boundaries are being installed by farmers.

Rural dweller are also coming together to build trust and confidence as a community, using specialist technology and social media to maximise community intelligence and awareness.