Farm crime in Australia

The 2003 farm crime survey, funded by the Australian Government
Attorney-General's Department and conducted by the Australian Institute of
Criminology, focused on the types of crimes that affect farming operations.
Common examples of such crimes include theft of livestock, produce, machinery or
other property; farmhouse burglary; vandalism or sabotage; and illegal hunting
or fishing. Seventeen percent of all farms reported experiencing farm crime at
least once in the 12 months leading up to the survey. The study found that farms
in very remote locations and highly accessible farms close to regional or urban
centres were more likely than average to experience victimisation. Highly
accessible farms were more likely to experience theft of farm machinery,
vehicles or tools, or burglary, whereas very remote farms experienced the
highest levels of livestock theft, illegal hunting and fishing, theft of
materials, and illegal dumping of waste. The map below shows farm crime
victimisation by postcode. It indicates medium to high levels of farm
victimisation in the relatively closely settled parts of Australia, such as the
southeastern seaboard, and around Perth. These are areas with large numbers of
productive, often intensive farms and proximity to urban areas. Remote areas are
also shown to experience high levels of farm crime, though with great
variability. Some remote area postcodes appear to experience very high farm
victimisation, while in others farm crime seems negligible. This variability may
be the result of the very small number of farms in many of these postcodes.

Percentage of farms experiencing crime, by postcode, 2003

  • Anderson K & McCall M 2005. Farm crime in Australia. Canberra: Australian Government Attorney-General's Department.