An Agriland poll has found that over 70% of farmers now keep a firearm in their house for protection.
The result comes as Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures released this summer show that there were 420 crimes a month reported on farms throughout the country in the first half of 2014.
The problem, which many have labelled as an epidemic, has even seen the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) call on the Minister for Justice to prioritise Garda resources in this year’s budget following an increase in crime in rural areas in particular.
According to the results of the poll, 27% of respondents have been the victim of a farmyard theft in the last five years while 92% of respondents said they knew somebody who had been a victim.
Agriland readers were also asked how safe they feel in their homes. A staggering 33% of voters responded saying they did not feel safe.
Speaking recently AGSI Deputy General Secretary, John Jacob said we are now witnessing the human impact of Garda Station closures and seven years of austerity raising its head.
“Increased crime is the result of those decisions at Government level. Our citizens deserve to feel safe and with a positive swing of the economic pendulum, adequate resources must now be re-directed to crime prevention measures.
“The media conversation has been re-directed to organisational matters lately, all the while people and communities are suffering at the hands of criminals.
“We all know that the fear of crime is always greater than the actual statistics, but we have a duty to ensure people feel safe in their homes, communities and in their place of work.
“Our office has been inundated with concerns around increasing crime in all areas, but particularly in rural Ireland. People need to feel reassured that the legitimate policing authority of this country will continue to be able to provide the service required.”