Australian Institute of Criminology

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One in three farm crime victims affected more than once

Media Release

09 January 2004

"Research indicates almost one in three victims of farm crime is affected more than once", the Acting Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), Dr Toni Makkai said today.

In its latest Trends and Issues report on farm crime, the AIC also found that reporting of this type of crime to the police is low.

"Thirty-seven per cent of victims did not report the crime because they felt that nothing could be done about it, while a further 17 per cent felt that the crime was not serious enough to warrant even reporting it to the police," Dr Makkai said.

"Victims are also less likely to report farm crime if they are not lodging an insurance claim".

Several initiatives have been introduced to combat farm crime, including a Rural Watch Scheme, similar to Neighbourhood Watch in some parts of Australia.

Police Stock Squads or similar organisations, trained specifically in agricultural crime, operate in Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria and have in some cases assisted in reducing the number of stock offences reported to police, particularly in Queensland.

"Currently, there is very little evaluation of farm crime initiatives or a national understanding of farm crime prevention strategies and their effectiveness," Dr Makkai said.

"The Australian Institute of Criminology is presently conducting further research into farm crime through extensive survey and field work".

"This research will add a great deal of knowledge to fill the gap in farm crime prevention strategies".