Close to 50% of farm thefts include machinery, equipment or vehicles

Close to 50% of farm thefts consisted of machinery, equipment or vehicles being stolen, according to the results of a survey carried out by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

The ICSA’s Agricultural Crime Survey, which was undertaken in conjunction with Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), was responded to by over 860 farmers.

A total of 351 respondents recorded experiencing 652 incidents of theft of a farm related asset(s) between January 1, 2014 and May 31, 2016.

Out of these respondents, 191 recorded experiencing only one theft incident during the prescribed period; the average value of the asset(s) stolen in this instance was €2,528.

But 160 respondents to the survey revealed that they had been the victims of more than one incident of theft; these respondents accounted for 461 of the 652 theft incidents recorded.

The average value of asset(s) stolen in each theft incident recorded, as experienced by this group of respondents, was €1,483, according to the results of the survey.

Source: ICSA

Breakdown of thefts

The type of asset(s) recorded as stolen by respondents to the survey could be broken down into three categories, the report explained.

The theft of machinery, equipment or vehicles made up 48% of the total number of incidents reported; the average value of the asset(s) stolen equalled €2,223.

Meanwhile, 32% of the incidents reported consisted of the theft of tools, chemicals, materials or miscellaneous personal property – with an average value of €1,219.

The remaining 20% of thefts reported related to livestock, feed or products. These thefts equated to an average value of €1,621.

The results of the survey indicated that incidents relating to the theft of vehicles, including vehicle parts, accounted for one in 10 theft incidents; it was also the type of incident with the highest average value of asset(s) stolen – at €5,744.

Source: ICSA

By comparison, the theft of fuels and oils was the most prevalent type of theft reported – 124 incidents. But it was the second lowest average value of asset(s) stolen in a theft incident, at €579.

Agricultural diesel was the most common asset stolen in relation to the theft of fuels and oils; there was a total of 108 incidents of theft relating to this asset recorded as part of the survey.

The average value of agricultural diesel stolen in an incident of theft was €560.

Meanwhile, 10 incidents of theft relating to various chemicals were reported – making this category the lowest proportion of theft incidents recorded. This category also represented the lowest average value of asset(s) stolen in a theft incident, at €495.