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Farm Crime

Posted on 13/11/2023

Our campaign helps regional and rural communities address the growing threat of criminals that target isolated and vulnerable farming properties across South Australia. We want to help empower rural property owners and businesses to safeguard their livestock, tools, machinery, water and fuel from potential thieves.

Trespassing, illegal shooting, hunting, burglary, and theft are prevalent challenges for those residing on regional properties. That’s why we are collaborating with police and local communities to create a resilient defense against opportunistic thieves.

Why reporting matters

Reporting incidents of rural crime is crucial as it provides police with valuable insights into the true extent of farm crime and specific locations targeted by thieves. Rural properties are often attractive targets due to their isolation and fewer witnesses, making it essential for landowners to be vigilant and proactive in protecting their properties as best as possible.

Patterns of offending indicate a high level of planning and organisation by a small group of repeat offenders, who are responsible for significant losses in terms of livestock and farm equipment. By reporting crimes and suspicious activities, a more accurate understanding of targeted areas and the types of property stolen can be developed.

According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, crime in rural areas is on the rise. Areas close to regional or urban centers commonly experience theft of farm machinery, vehicles, or tools, while very remote areas face the highest levels of livestock theft, illegal hunting, fishing, theft of materials and illegal dumping of waste.

If you have been a victim of a crime you should make a report direct to police. For police attendance, call 131 444 and for a life-threatening emergency, call 000.

If you have information about an unsolved crime or suspicious activity (that does not require a police response) you can anonymously contact Crime Stoppers from our homepage or freecall 1800 333 000.

The impact of farm crime

Farm crime not only affects the broader region and South Australia’s economy but also inflicts devastating financial, psychological, and physical impacts on farmers, landowners, and rural communities.

To counter these threats, we encourage farmers and landowners to take proactive measures:

  • Accurately record livestock identification.
  • Remove keys from machinery when not in use.
  • Keep photos of valuable stock or commonly stolen items for identification.
  • Install quality locking devices on gates, sheds, and equipment.

We’ve developed a range of free materials below to assist farmers and landowners in securing their properties, so click on an image to download and find out more.

We’ve also developed a downloadable Farm Security checklist for you as a way to self-assess your own preparations and spot any areas of improvement.

Just click here or on the image below to download a pdf.

Together, let’s build a resilient rural community that stands united against farm crime. Report crime, protect your property – and let’s make it tough for opportunistic thieves.



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