A major survey of over 500 farmers across the country has highlighted serious concerns on rural security, with 54% of respondents either dissatisfied or totally dissatisfied with the efforts of the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, to protect rural communities.
The survey, carried out by the IFA, highlighted that 11% of farm families, the equivalent of 13,000 households have been victims of rural crime. Nearly 37% feel less safe in their home in the past 12 months, a finding that contradicts recent reports that rural crime is falling.
Responding to the findings, IFA Deputy President and Chairman of IFA Countryside Eddie Downey said the Minister needs to toughen up the fight to ensure that the level of rural crime is reduced. He said: “Communications by the Garda, especially in keeping in touch with victims and reporting back with updates on progress, needs to be improved.”
43% of those surveyed have joined a Neighbourhood Watch or Community Alert group. The study also found that 43% of farmers felt that the presence of Gardaí in their area had decreased in the last 12 months.