Taking Action Against Farm Crime
Farm crime includes offences ranging from illegal hunting to the theft of stock, equipment, firearms and diesel. Crime statistics show that in the year preceding to 30 March 2019, almost 3600 farm-related thefts were recorded in Victoria.
The VFF is committed to taking action on farm crime. We advocate for appropriate sanctions and penalties for criminals, targeted police resourcing to deal with farm crime and programs such as awareness campaigns to educate rural communities about farm crime and how to avoid it.
We also encourage farmers to report any incidents of farm crime. Farmers sometimes do not report thefts, because they believe little can be done to catch perpetrators and retrieve stolen stock or items. Farmers may also not report incidents of trespass because they believe the trespassers will flee long before the police can arrive to deal with the situation.
The VFF believes any person trespassing on a farm property to protest or to disrupt a business is committing an offence and should be prosecuted under the law. This also means penalties for trespass should be adequate to deter activists from trespassing.
The VFF has been working with Victoria Police to develop a strategy to deal with livestock theft and other farm crime. Victoria Police have designated Farm Crime Liaison Officers, also known as FCLOs, across Victoria who have been specially trained to deal with farm crime.
Dealing with Intruders on Farm
In response to the threat of animal activists trespassing on farms, the VFF has produced an action and information guide for farmers experiencing intruders on their farm.
Farm crime resources
To help navigate and secure the security of your farm, download the Crime Stoppers Victoria farm security checklist.
To help boost security on rural properties, Crime Stoppers is also providing free farm gate signs. The signs are 1 x per person and can be ordered from the Crime Stoppers website.
For further information about the VFF’s policy and advocacy, VFF members can call the VFF Policy Team on 1300 882 833 or email [email protected].