Despite a campaign to tackle organised rural crime by An Garda Síochána, rural crime is still a serious issue for people.

In the Irish Farmers Journal/Red C poll of 1,000 farmers, 40% of respondents said they were victims of rural crime. This rose to 50% in the 35 to 44 age bracket.

After a high-profile campaign led by the Save Our Community group, Operation Thor was launched with a specific target of clamping down on rural crime.

However, when compared with an Irish Farmers Journal/Red C poll in 2015, the situation has not improved. In that poll of 1,000 farmers, 38% of those surveyed said they were victims of rural crime.

While a different group to the ones surveyed this year, it shows that there has been little in the way of improvement.

Case study

It changes the way you think totally

Alison De Vere Hunt is the manager of Cashel Mart, Co Tipperary.

The mart was broken into five times over the period of a year.

Power washers and heaters were taken during the break-ins. This has resulted in Alison taking drastic steps to protect her business.

“We upped our security – I mean we just had to,” Alison told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“Without trying to make the place look like Fort Knox, we had to protect our business.”

Alison said that after multiple thefts, a person’s mindset changes entirely.

“Theft and crime comes to the front of the mind, it becomes everything you think about on a daily basis … it changes the way you think totally. After a while it turns from despair to anger but it stays with you.

“Every night you’re checking the cameras before you go to bed to see if there’s anything happening. The whole frame of mind changes.”

Livestock marts are tightly run operations, according to Alison, and the upgrading of security cost the mart significant funds.

“It’s a high-turnover, low-profit business. We have to install bars and use anti-climbing paint. It all adds up,” she said.

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Full coverage of our Red C poll of 1,000 farmers