The government’s announcement of the increase in police to be allocated to rural communities should help farmers feel more secure in their homes and businesses, Federated Farmers says.
A survey conducted by Feds in 2016 showed the rural sector is plagued by thieves, rustlers and poachers.
And to make the situation even worse, not enough farmers are reporting their losses.
“We’ve been running rural security workshops around the country, in conjunction with FMG and the police, and they are enormously popular,” Federated Farmers rural security spokesperson Rick Powdrell says.
“One of the key messages we push is that farmers need to work more closely with police to deter and catch offenders.
“And obviously if crime is reported, then it gives the powers-that-be in Wellington a better idea of where the extra police resources are needed,” Rick says.
More than 1,000 farmers from all over New Zealand responded to the survey, with 26 per cent saying stock had been stolen from them in the last five years.
Nearly 60% of respondents said they had not reported stock theft to police, and 38% had not reported stolen property.
Common reasons cited included that farmers didn’t think police would be interested, that police resources were too stretched, or that the theft was discovered days or weeks after it happened.
“Farmers should not hesitate to report crime and should regularly review their security measures,” Rick says.