Rural Security

IFA Calling for Garda Rural Crime Unit

Farm Inspections

IFA Deputy President Alice Doyle has called on farmers, contractors and machinery owners to take urgent and immediate actions to protect their property, machinery, tools and equipment, particularly GPS systems.

It appears that an organised criminal gang has once again set its sights on the farming sector and has targeted farms in Dublin and Wexford.

Over the last three days, thieves stole six systems in the Wexford area and one in North Dublin. The estimated value is up to €100k.  One man was arrested in North Dublin and was before the courts charged with attempted theft. He pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody for sentencing on Friday.

“This is a great result for An Garda Síochana. We’re asking Gardai to work with other agencies to see if these stolen items can be prevented from leaving the State for Eastern Europe and beyond and returned to their owners,” Alice Doyle said.

“It is very important that this cycle of theft of specialised equipment is stopped. IFA is calling for the establishment of a dedicated Garda Rural Safety Unit to tackle what has become an international business for organised crime gangs,” she said.

The Ukrainian war and subsequent embargo on Russia had led to a criminal market for the supply of agricultural equipment. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have suffered badly with the same criminal gangs targeting rural areas.

The IFA Deputy President said that Northern Ireland, Scotland and several of the UK regions have dedicated rural crime teams solely focused on these crimes and the prevention of same.

“They liaise with other agencies and police forces in a co-ordinated approach, sharing intelligence and best practices. Ireland needs the same. The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris should establish such a unit immediately,” she concluded.

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