January 11, 2013
The Victorian Farmers Federation is pleased with the progress of the Victoria Police’s Livestock and Farm Crime Specialist Advisory Group. The ALGO (Agricultural Liaison Officer) network – launched in October 2011 – comprises over 40 Victoria Police Officers and extends across the state. “The AGLOs dealing with Agricultural crime are local community members, which provides a valuable contact for farmers concerned with livestock and farm crime,” VFF Livestock president Ian Feldtmann said. Recently released figures of reported crime in 2011-12 are up 38 per cent from the previous year. The VFF feels this does not reflect an increase in crime, but farmers feeling more confident and willing to report crime to the police. A statement from Victoria Police said: “the increased reporting of crime is indicative of the confidence our AGLOs are building in the farming community.” The VFF sits on the board for the Livestock and Farm Specialist Advisory Group and Mr Feldtmann said that progress is being made with the systems to combat rural crime. “The determination by Victoria Police to address farm crime gives us confidence that there will be more prosecutions of criminals operating in rural areas,” Mr Feldtmann said. “We are in the early days of a new group and we want to see continued progress for all farmers affected by crime. “Success in this area is always going to be a two way street, and it’s fair to have expectations from policing, but members of the farming community also have to be proactive in relation to being vigilant and reporting crime and suspicious behaviour as a matter of urgency.” The Livestock and Farm Crime Specialist Advisory Group has been active during 2012, including conferences in Echuca and Bendigo, and raising awareness of farm crime during large agricultural events like the Elmore field days.