Mart hosts crime prevention info day: Top tips to keep your farm secure

There was keen interest in a crime prevention information day at Tullamore mart last Thursday.

Crime prevention officer for Laois/Offaly Sergeant (Sgt.) Graham Kavanagh – who attended the mart to give advice on farm security and safety, along with Garda Shane Costello – said the information stand attracted a lot of attention.

Farmers had lots of questions to ask and also told the Gardai present about their personal experiences of crime, Sgt. Kavanagh said. Many were fearful about their situations, and some had trailers and fuels stolen.

His top tips were:
  • Restrict access to your farmyard. Install gates effectively and lock;
  • Ensure your farmyard and homestead are well-lit;
  • Property marking is key. Avail of IFA’s ‘Theft Stop’ service or any unique marking system to you; Photograph items and record the details;
  • Sign up to your local community text alert;
  • Always report crime to a Garda station.

The manager of Tullamore GVM (Golden Vale Co-operative Marts) mart, Antoinette Daly, said she was happy to facilitate the information event for farmers – especially as there had been so much serious crime in Laois/Offaly in recent years.

We see rural crime as a major issue, especially as farmers in the midlands have been the victims of serious crimes in recent times. It’s frightening.

Antoinette has been manager at the mart for the past seven years. “Attendance is going up every year. We have three sales every week, and sometimes four. We have: weanling sales on Mondays; sheep on Wednesdays; cattle on Thursdays; and pedigrees on some Saturdays.

“There is a lot more competition now but we give a good service, with guaranteed payment, whereas farmers can be taking a risk with other options. We have a good relationship with farmers.”

mart

As with other marts around the country, insurance is a headache. “Our insurance costs are getting higher because of the higher number of accidents in marts and the fact that animals are a lot wilder now.

“We are in the process of appointing a health and safety officer, to make staff and farmers more aware of the dangers. You have to be alert all the time of the dangers of animals going in and out of pens,” said Antoinette.

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