The report on Community Policing and Rural Crime by the Joint Oireachtas Committee (JOC) on Justice and Equality has been welcomed by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

The IFA’s deputy president, Richard Kennedy, has welcomed the findings of the report published today (Thursday, March 28).

Kennedy said: “The IFA has taken a proactive role in the area of crime prevention, but more can and must be done by the Government, as evidenced by this report.”

He highlighted how, over the last year, several serious incidents of crime have occurred on farms.

“Many farmers and rural dwellers live in real fear for their safety, which is compounded by geographic and service isolation.

“Theft of valuables from rural homes and of livestock and machinery from farms is also a major concern.”

Continuing, the deputy president noted: “The IFA has said many times that there is a need for greater patrolling of rural Ireland. Farm families need to see a much greater Garda presence on the road.”

A proposal to establish a dedicated Rural Crime Task Force in crime blackspots was suggested by the IFA in its presentation to the JOC last October.

“The committee has done good work and produced a sensible, workable report. However, it will be a fruitless exercise if it is left on a shelf gathering dust.”

Concluding, Kennedy said: “The Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, and his officials must set out a clear timetable for implementation and the IFA will be seeking a meeting with him to discuss this as soon as possible.”