The Victoria Police Crime Department will today host the second Livestock and Farm Crime Specialist Group state conference in Bendigo.
The two day conference will bring together police, government representatives and agricultural industry stakeholders to discuss livestock and farm related crime and aims to allow participants to share intelligence, knowledge and ideas with regard to law enforcement in the agricultural industry.
Head of Practice for the Livestock and Farm Crime Specialist Group, Superintendent Craig Gillard said livestock and farm crime was an important issue for police.
“This conference is about putting the focus on reducing livestock and farm theft affecting Victoria’s country regions,” he said.
“Livestock and farm related crime affects many communities and the collaboration of police from across the state, along with the Victorian Farmers Federation, Department of Primary Industries, stock agents and farmers can only compliment the way in which we address this important issue.
“Getting everyone in the same room and sharing ideas is the aim of this conference.”
Victoria Police has identified that the reporting of livestock and farm related thefts is increasing due to the confidence by farmers to report these matters.
There were 344 recorded offences of livestock theft in 2011/2012 in Victoria.
In the Western Region, there were 181 livestock theft offences, while in the Eastern Region there were 117 offences.
In the North West Metro Region there were 29 livestock theft offences and in the Southern Metro Region there were 17 offences.
There were 250 recorded offences of livestock theft in 2010/2011 in Victoria.
In the Western Region, there were 149 livestock theft offences, while in the Eastern Region there were 52 offences.
In the North West Metro Region there were 25 livestock theft offences and in the Southern Metro Region there were 24 offences.
Throughout the state, 6292 sheep, 356 cattle, 92 pigs, 53 poultry, 35 goats, 26 horses and one Llama were stolen last financial year.
In the 2010/2011 financial year, 5716 sheep, 181 goats, 154 cattle, 26 poultry, 23 horses, eight pigs, five steer’s, two deer’s and one camel.
Supt Gillard said there had also been an increase in the theft of farm machinery and equipment including tractors and chemicals.
Source: VIctoria Police