Stop, thief!

Crime is up in municipalities across the Prairies. In central Saskatchewan, property crime rates have jumped 18 percent over the past six years, according to the RCMP. Meanwhile, the population in many rural areas is declining, meaning there are fewer eyes around to keep thieves in check.

Saskatchewan RCMP has “redeployed” to address the increase of rural crime, but it has also admitted that it lacks the resources to stem the rising crime trend.

Under the provincial police service agreement, the budget translates into about 920 policing positions for all of rural Saskatchewan.

During the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities convention this spring a resolution was passed that called on the association to lobby the federal government to expand the rights and justification for people to defend themselves and persons under their care, as well as their property.

The resolution gathered a lot of attention, but the federal government is unlikely to take action.

There’s also been a movement toward increased community-led programs including rural crime watch, agro-watch and citizens on patrol, which have proven useful in many cases.

Rural folks have always looked out for one another on the Prairies, but many farmers are too busy now to properly monitor their own assets, never mind their neighbours’ assets also.

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Many producers would like to stick to farming, pay their taxes and let police handle the policing.

But in their own yard, fuel continues to disappear — stolen as it’s pumped out of their machines and tanks. Farmers can’t leave keys in their equipment anymore, and yes, they may feel more comfortable when the gun is near.

Luckily for producers, there have been major technological advancements in home security systems that can help identify the sticky fingered thieves.

As well, there are low-tech strategies farmers can use to help keep their properties safe.

In this section, we cover the basics of what farmers need to know when it comes to farm security.

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