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Fed Farmers want rural crime reported

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/12/2016

<span style="font-size:13px;">A Federated Farmers survey shows the rural sector is plagued by thieves, rustlers and poachers but not enough farmers are reporting their losses.</span> © Getty Images A Federated Farmers survey shows the rural sector is plagued by thieves, rustlers and poachers but not enough farmers are reporting their losses. Thieves, rustlers and poachers are plaguing the rural community, but farmers are letting it slide.

A Federated Farmers survey shows 60 per cent of farmers hadn't reported stock theft to police, 38 per cent hadn't reported stolen property, and 46 per cent hadn't reported poaching.

The farmers said they 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.

However, Federated Farmers rural crime portfolio leader Rick Powdrell says police want to hear about all offending.

"It helps the local police build a comprehensive picture of what crime is happening, where and at what time. They can direct their resources accordingly, and it considerably boosts the chances of making arrests."

Mr Powdrell said it may be grounds for extra policing in some rural areas.

One thousand farmers completed the online survey, and around 35 per cent said they had been victims of crime in the last two years; including theft of stock, fuel, chainsaws, shearing gear, generators and even a few cases of firearms.

Some farmers have taken their own measures to boost security, however, including sensor lights, cameras, and moving their dogs.

"Farmers should not hesitate to report crime and should regularly review their security measures," Mr Powdrell says.

"We have to play our part. Police can't do it on their own. Rural people can't do it on their own."

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