Victoria Police has announced it will join forces with Crime Stoppers Victoria and the Victorian Farmers Federation to target offences against Victorian farmers as part of a new rural crime campaign.
Farm Crime Coordinator at Victoria Police, Inspector Karl Curran said the ‘Locals get Vocal’ campaign aimed to draw attention to the issues the farming community faced when their livelihoods were threatened by thieves.
“Criminals commonly target farms to steal livestock, equipment, fuel, hay and firearms,” Insp Curran said.
“In the past 12 months, livestock worth more than $1.9 million was stolen across Victoria,” he said.
“There were 3,588 crimes reported in the previous 12 months where tools, equipment, pumps, trailers and fuel were stolen equating to approximately $1.4 million.”
Insp Curran said rural properties were often targeted by offenders searching for firearms.
“There were 134 firearms, as well as ammunition, stolen during burglaries across the state over the past year,” he said.
“Most rural property owners use firearms as part of their jobs and offenders are well aware of this.”
He said that while most firearms were safely stored, they were often kept on remote properties and the theft could go undiscovered for days or even weeks.
Insp Curran said it was important that farmers always reported thefts to police for investigation.