Call for Minister to toughen up in fight against rural crime

The Minister for Justice needs to toughen up the fight to ensure that rural crime is reduced so that people living rural communities feel safer.

That's according to the Irish Farmers Association which is calling on Alan Shatter to increase Garda presence in rural areas.

It comes as a new IFA survey shows that 54 percent of farmers are dissatisfied with the Minister's efforts to protect communities.

The survey also revealed that over 83 percent of farmers are prepared to participate in a voluntary alert programme - while 43 percent have already joined a Neighbourhood Watch or Community Alert group.

IFA President John Bryan says the survey - of over 500 farmers - contradicts recent reports that rural crime is falling: