An Garda Síochána has three main pieces of advice for farmers when it comes to dealing with trespassers on farms.
Garda Martin Walker stressed not to make any contact with them at all.
“A man in Athy got his jaw broken for challenging trespassers on his farm before,” he said.
Confronting the trespassers can also drive them away and the Gardaí can do nothing about it then he said. Stand back, call us and they will walk into our hands.”
“We have several lads up in court for trespassing in the coming weeks to be prosecuted because farmers followed these simple steps,” Walker said.
He also advised farmers, while keeping the trespassers in sight, to take a video of them on their phone if they can.
“Nine times out of ten, they’re [trespassers] doing their reconnaissance and are back the following the day to do their robbing.
“And this is a regular occurrence," Walker said.
An Garda Síochána warned farmers not to leave farmyards open and accessible to trespassers.
“This is the most basic piece of advice I can give farmers, especially this time of year as rural crime increases,” crime prevention officer Graham Kavanagh said.
Kavanagh also asked people all over the country to stop leaving keys in vehicles, even if it’s just for 20 minutes, but especially overnight as these vehicles are used to commit further crimes.
“It is very cheap to track vehicles nowadays. It may not stop the property from being stolen but it will increase the chances of gardaí recovering it,” he concluded.