21 Nov 2014

Many thefts unreported, survey reveals

3:09 pm on 21 November 2014

Federated Farmers is urging farmers to be more on the ball in reporting rural crimes to police.

Meat and Fibre Industry chairperson Rick Powdrell said a survey of its members revealed that almost two-thirds of stock thefts are not being reported and that is not helpful to farmers suffering stock losses, nor to police.

"When we dug down deeper into the unreported crime, we discovered that people either thought that the police weren't interested or they didn't have the resources," he said.

"The follow up of this is we've accepted that farmers are part of the problem because they're not reporting crimes. We've been in discussions with the police.

"Of course if crime's not being reported, then it's not appearing in the statistics and we know that police resources are related to crime statistics and probably the big thing is that police do want to know, purely for that reason. They can't investigate crime if it's never reported and they do understand the severity of the problem."

Mr Powdrell said farmers are losing an estimated $120 million a year from stock thefts.

Federated Farmers was lobbying politicians to have the sorts of penalties for illegal fishing applied to stock thefts as well, with forfeiture of vehicles and other equipment used in the offence.

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