IFA Deputy President and Countryside Chairman Tim O’Leary has welcomed the publication of new legislation by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, which will impose longer jail terms on burglars who continue to target family homes.
He has also called for increased policing hours and presence of mobile units in rural areas by An Garda Síochána, to reduce crime and create a greater sense of security in the countryside.
This proposal is part of a wider policy plan launched by IFA in recent weeks that calls on Government to introduce a Charter for rural Ireland to support the 440,000 households that live in the countryside.
Tim O’ Leary said, “Burglaries and theft of valuables from farms and rural homes continue to be a real concern. IFA has taken a lead role to address these challenges and is working with An Garda Síochána and other agencies, such as Crimestoppers, to support rural crime prevention”.
In addition, IFA proposes the following measures to address members’ concerns regarding rural security:
- Government’s commitment to improved policing in rural Ireland must lead to increased and measurable targets for policing hours and a greater presence of mobile units in rural areas.
- The Seniors Alert scheme, which provides financial support for the use of personal pendant alarms by elderly people, should be extended to cover the installation of house alarms.
- The new legislation to curb metal theft, which was enacted in 2014 and requires all scrap metal dealers to keep proper records and seek proof of identity from people supplying such materials, must be fully enforced by local authorities and An Garda Síochána.