Rural farmers’ perspectives on stock theft: police crime statistics
Rural farmers are not only facing challenges of severe drought blamed on the El Nino weather pattern, but the stock theft as well. The South African Police’s annual crime statistics report and surveys indicates that rural livestock farmers are mostly affected by stock theft in South Africa. The costs paid by these farmers to enhance security in the environs of their livestock roughly precede the financial planning meant for production. However, the research on the extent, economic impact, dark figures and problem areas of stock theft in rural areas remain limited. The National Crime Statistics about stock theft as administered and published by the South African Police Service remains the key focus of this paper. The responses of selected farmers indicate that there is no single solution tailor-made to fight against this phenomenon. The nature of this scourge extremely manifests itself in rural areas because it is not fully tackled by authorities. This paper draws from the detailed statistics reports of stock theft.
Keywords: Crime Statistics, Livestock, Rural farmers, Police Service, Stock theft, Extension implication