News

VFF says common sense and improved relationship with police will reduce risks of farm crime

By Rodney Woods

The VFF is urging farmers to continue to work with their local farm crime liaison officers and use common sense to reduce the risks of being farm crime targets.

In the year ending March 2020, 80 farm crime offences were reported in the Greater Shepparton local government area, 64 in Moira, 61 in Campaspe and 36 in Strathbogie, while the Benalla and Gannawarra local government areas saw 15 offences recorded in each.

VFF president David Jochinke said he knew some farmers who were installing cameras to protect their most expensive assets, but doing simple things would also reduce the risk.

“Not leaving vehicles unlocked near main roads, taking keys out of cars when in the yard, making sure records are up to date on livestock, making sure you are locking the wool shed if you've got wool, locking up diesel if you have it on farm and if you aren’t going to use the workshop over the weekend, lock it up,” he said.

“It's all common sense and is about reducing the opportunity to be a target.”

Mr Jochinke said the more farmers used the resources of their Victoria Police farm crime liaison officers, the more resources they would receive.

“The fact that we have this resource might mean we are seeing more (crimes reported) but it will give us a truer understanding of what’s going on,” he said.

“The more we use them the more resources they get.

“By reporting and by getting a better understanding of the stats, it helps break the myths or refocuses the resources to make the community safer.”

To find out who your local farm crime liaison officer is, visit: https://www.police.vic.gov.au/farm-crime-liaison-officers