15% of farmers affected by illegal rubbish dumping

A total of 15% of farmers have been affected by illegal rubbish dumping, according to a recent survey on agricultural crime.

The survey was carried out by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), in conjunction with the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).

Answered by over 800 farmers, the survey indicated that some 39% of farmers have suffered some form of vandalism, criminal damage or trespassing (VCDT) on their farm in the past.

Results of the survey suggests that there is an extensive level of ‘repeat victimisation‘ with these types of offences.

A total of 711 incidents of VCDT were recorded in the ICSA survey, which was completed between June and October in 2016.

Incidents of rubbish dumping accounted for just under 22% of the total number of VCDT offences recorded in the survey.

This was only surpassed by incidents of unauthorised hunting, fishing or shooting on farmer-owned land, which accounted for 24.4% of VCDT offences recorded.

Crackdown on illegal Dumping

This news comes as the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, is set to announce a new crackdown on illegal dumping.

It is expected that the new measures will include the greater use of smart technology and more community engagement.

Minister Naughten is set to make the announcement at the launch of the 2017 Anti-Dumping Initiative later today.

The Anti-Dumping Initiative is being developed in conjunction with the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities (WERLAs).

Rural Ireland Outraged

People in rural Ireland are outraged at the lenient approach to agricultural crime, the ICSA Rural Development Chairman, Seamus Sherlock, said.

The national survey indicated that, in total, two thirds of Irish farming families have been affected by crime relating to their farming enterprise.

The results of the survey came as no surprise to Sherlock, as they were “in-keeping with the feedback he has been getting back from farmers all around the country”.

The ordinary decent people of rural Ireland are outraged that criminals seem to be acting with impunity.

“Even where insurance is in place, premiums are always at risk of rising significantly as a result of this type of crime.

“Worse still is that farmers are expected to fund expensive deterrents, such as electric gates and security cameras.

“Meanwhile, rural communities feel under siege due to a lack of Garda resources.

“Even where the Gardai are successful in catching criminals, the perception is that they get off lightly in the courts and are given every benefit of the doubt,” he said.