Gardaí have arrested a male in his twenties as part of an ongoing Garda investigation into multiple reported thefts of agricultural machinery and livestock in the Kerry and Cork West divisions in late 2022 and early 2023.
The thefts, which occurred from November 2022 to February 2023, resulted in approximately €110,000 of farm machinery, including a tractor and slurry tanker, which were later recovered, and livestock being stolen.
Through an “extensive” investigation conducted by Gardaí from Cork West and Kerry, it was suspected the thefts were linked to an organised crime group believed to be involved in the removal of livestock and machinery from this jurisdiction, according to a statement from An Garda Síochána.
On Tuesday, June 13th, 2023, a number of vehicles were seized during the course of a number of searches of residences and farmlands in North and West Kerry.
These searches were conducted by Gardaí from the Cork West and Kerry divisions with assistance from the Regional Armed Support Unit from Limerick, along with local Divisional Scenes of Crime Unit members and Community Policing Unit members.
A man in his early 20s was arrested as part of this operation.
According to the statement, he is currently being detained at a Garda station in the Kerry division under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007.
Researchers at Technological University Dublin studying farm-based crime have found that more than half of the 1,333 farmers surveyed had been victims of theft.
These are among the many findings of a research report by Dr Nicola Hughes and Dr Matt Bowden, criminologists at the School of Social Sciences, Law and Education at TU Dublin.
The survey was conducted in autumn 2022 and is based on a sample of 1,330 responses from the farming community.
While most farmers (71%) reported thefts to An Garda Síochána, a proportion of those participating in the survey did not.
29% of participants did not report their experience of theft to An Garda Síochána, compared with 19% in national victim surveys.
In the TU Dublin survey, the primary reasons given for not reporting were based on a belief that:
- the incident was not serious enough;
- that the police would do nothing about it; and
- that there was insufficient evidence to warrant police action.