Criminals are using drones and Google Maps to survey farms, the IFA crime prevention officer Barry Carey has warned.
He told a Connacht IFA crime meeting on Tuesday night that criminals can look at property on Google Maps and have used the maps as pre-surveillance.
“It’s something to be aware of. Someone can look at your farm from the air. Drones are a tool being used by sophisticated groups.
Farmers are entitled to feel safe in their own home
“Criminals can use them as aerial surveillance. They can plan their routes in and out. They can identify machinery and target barns,” he said.
IFA deputy president Brian Rushe said: “Farmers are entitled to feel safe in their own home and on their property. If a drone is being used over your farm, report it to gardaí,” he said.
Michael Walsh, An Garda Síochána’s crime prevention officer (CPO) for Galway said farmers should be putting in layers of security to deter criminals from entering their yards.
“It’s about putting in layers, slowing the criminal down and deterring them from going there in the first place.
“An open gate is an invitation to come in. That open gate might mean that there is no intent on trespassing. If a criminal has to go through a gate, it shows intent on his behalf,” he said.
He advised farmers to lock gates and ensure that they have anti-lift hinges on them.
Can you tie that equipment down? It might only be chaining a trailer around a pole, making it more difficult to take
He said equipment should be anchored.
“Can you tie that equipment down? It might only be chaining a trailer around a pole, making it more difficult to take,” he said.
He also said farmers should not to make it easy for criminals to take tractors or jeeps, advising them not to leave the keys in the ignition.