Farmers are repeat victims of rural crime: study

UNE farm crime study find 80pc farmers have been victims of crime at least once

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UNE Centre of Rural Criminology co-director Kyle Mulrooney. Photo: Supplied

UNE Centre of Rural Criminology co-director Kyle Mulrooney. Photo: Supplied

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Almost a quarter of farmers have been victims of rural crime more than seven times in their life, a new study has found.

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Almost a quarter of farmers have been victims of rural crime more than seven times in their life, a new study has found.

A farm crime survey conducted by the University of New England, Armidale, has found that 23.3 per cent of farmers have experienced any type of farm crime more than seven times, while 76.8pc had been victims more than twice.

"One of the shocking statistics we found is repeat victimisation, which can vary from trespass or theft to gates being run down," said UNE Centre of Rural Criminology co-director Kyle Mulrooney.

Related reading:Stock theft costs farmers $22.5m

Dr Mulrooney said the survey of 552 farmers from geographical spread across NSW was to provide NSW Police and policy makers with data to help "garner attention and investment".

"We have information to target and combat farm crime generally. It will help police make the case that rural crime is a serious problem and farmers are being victimised at high rates," Dr Mulrooney said.

Trespass was the highest experience of victimisation with 49.9pc, it was followed by illegal shooting and hunting at 40.7pc while 40pc had experienced livestock theft.

Of those surveyed nearly 50pc had CCTV installed on their properties.

He said the survey was also able to measure farmer's attitudes to police generally, as well as the Rural Crime Prevention Team (RCPT), with those that had contact with the team satisfied with police overall.

"What farmers want is offenders punished, they want to see more police presence and a team dedicated to combat farm crime," he said.

The RCPT has increased its numbers from 33 in 2017 to 52, with a further 12 positions to be recruited.

Results from the survey will be published in the coming weeks.

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