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Victoria Police look to stamp out farm crime.

Victoria Police are expanding their response to rural crime and thefts from farms as the cost to producers continues to skyrocket.

Farm crime has cost rural producers $4m AUD in Victoria over the past 24 months.

The Victorian Farm Crime Coordination Unit is headed by Inspector Paul Hargreaves, who caught up with Flow last week to discuss the different lengths Victoria Police is taking to stamp out farm crime in the state.

“The Farm Crime Coordination Unit is a state-wide unit and works in conjunction with our farm crime liaison officers which are at various police stations across the state,” Inspector Hardgraves said.
“We’ve been visiting a number of places in the last month...we’ve been to Wangaratta, Wodonga, Yea and Warrnambool.
“For us it’s about getting out and getting to where the farmers are.”

Victorian officers turned out at the Warrnambool sale yards last week to hold conversations with farmers about how they can best detect and prevent farm crime.

“Essentially what it is, is how you can better protect yourself from being a victim of crime, what you can do around your farm, who you can talk to, how you can get your neighbours to look out for you,” Inspector Hardgraves said.
“Those simple little things that just make it that little bit easier for us when we’re investigating and harder for those that want to take things that shouldn’t be taken and go into places where they shouldn’t be.”

Farmers can be reluctant to report crimes that take place on their farms for a number of reasons, including complacency when uncertainty arises over whether a crime has actually been committed.

Inspector Hargreaves believes the solution is simple for farmers – that they immediately report any suspicious activity.

Inspector Hargreaves floated the benefits of investing in security cameras which are becoming more affordable and more relied upon.

“Yes they are getting cheaper and yes they are very handy for us when we’re trying to solve crime,” he said.
“We will canvass the area where a theft occurs or an offense occurs looking for CCTV.
“If people have it, we will access it...we would encourage people where you can, to have security cameras, it is always a great benefit.
“Essentially, security cameras on your property would be a benefit to you and certainly a major benefit to us in trying to solve crime.”


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