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Addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality this morning, IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy called for the establishment of a dedicated Rural Crime Task Force.

He highlighted how a similar UK task force has been successful in tackling rural crime. “Over the last year, several serious incidents have occurred on farms. Many farmers and rural dwellers live in real fear for their safety, which is compounded by geographic and service isolation. Theft of valuables from rural homes and of livestock and machinery from farms is also a major concern.”

The IFA Deputy President said there is a serious problem with cross-border crime.  “A more streamlined crime reporting system, immediate sharing of intelligence, and information exchange would increase the level of visibility and awareness, particularly where crime has been reported in border areas.”

Richard Kennedy said IFA has taken a proactive role in the area of crime prevention. He highlighted the many joint initiatives it has engaged with An Garda Síochána on, including; Crimestoppers, Community Text Alerts and Theftstop.

However, he said more needs to be done, “There is a need for greater patrolling of rural Ireland. Farm families need to see a much greater Garda presence on the road.”

IFA will launch an autumn campaign to increase security awareness among farmers at the National Ploughing Championships next week.

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