Farmers willing to 'take financial hit' rather than report theft

Farmers are willing to take a ‘financial hit’ of €1,711 rather than report an incident of theft

 

Farmers are reluctant to report thefts on their farms due to fears their insurance premiums will increase.

A survey by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Association on financial costs of agricultural crime in Ireland found farmers were willing to take a financial hit of on average €1771 rather than report the incident.

Alongside this willingness to write-off financial losses, the survey also found that the risk of rising insurance premiums was making many farmers reluctant to report incidents of theft.

Out of the total number of respondents to the survey, 849 admitted that they had been victims of theft between January 2014 and May 2016.

Meanwhile, 351 respondents recorded experiencing 652 incidents of theft of a farm related assets during the prescribed period.

ICSA president Patrick Kent said the financial costs of agricultural crime is an “unacceptable burden and one that cannot be written off as part and parcel of life in rural Ireland.”

“We now have proof that agricultural crime is hitting farmers’ pockets at a time when most are struggling to make ends meet at all. Theft, vandalism and fly-tipping all have serious cost implications for farmers, as do increased insurance premiums when farmers have to make a claim. The report is hugely important as determining the costs of agricultural crime provides the justification for spending scarce resources on tackling the issue,”said Mr Kent.

ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock said: “As well as the financial cost, there is also the unseen cost of fear and stress caused when your home or farm has been targeted by criminals. We are witnessing the whole fabric of rural society being decimated with farmers feeling more and more isolated and side-lined. Nobody should have to live in a state of constant fear and anxiety,” he said.