Farmers urged to report livestock theft

The National Stock Theft Prevention Forum (NSTPF) has appealed to farmers to report all cases of livestock theft.

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According to a NSTPF statement, the SAPS needs accurate figures to determine how many livestock theft units are needed in each region.

Inaccurate statistics also lead to the misallocation of resources such as staff, vehicles and equipment. This can reduce reaction times; in some cases delays could increase from 12 hours to five days if units are under-resourced.

According to Statistics South Africa (SSA), in 2011 36,3% of stock theft cases were not reported. In 2012, this increased to 40,1% and 63% in 2013.

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Some 31,8% of livestock owners do not report stock theft due to a lack of trust in the ability of SAPS to recover stolen stock, or to prosecute cases successfully.

About 30,2% of livestock owners believe that it is not an important enough crime to report to the authorities, while 11,8% prefer to report stock theft to local authorities or neighborhood watch organisations.