Farmers and rural dwellers have been encouraged to get their property marked at a cross-border crime prevention event in Co. Monaghan this weekend.

The event is being hosted by the Monaghan Community Engagement Unit of An Garda Síochána in conjunction the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) and Agrikids.

Organisers explained that this is an initiative to deter criminals who are intent on using the border to their advantage to move and sell stolen items.

Anyone living in close proximity to the border can avail of the free service this Saturday (July 16) from midday to 4:00p.m in the carpark at McAnenly’s Service Station, Moybridge, Emyvale.

Crime prevention

Using a specialised device, gardaí can put an owner’s Eircode onto their property in a bid to make it less attractive to would-be thieves.

The marking also helps the gardaí or police to identify recovered property and reunite it with its rightful owner.

The dot punching machine can be used to engrave items of all sizes including trailers, quads, power tools and lawnmowers.

Chair of Monaghan IFA, Patrick McCormick acknowledged that the movement of stolen goods across the border has “always been an issue”.

He explained to Agriland that items are marked twice by the machine; one of which is obvious, while the second is more hidden.

He added that thieves would need a grinder to distort the marks, which would be obvious to any potential buyer.

When an item is marked by the machine the owner is given stickers which they can put up in their yard as a deterrent. The initiative is also supported by community alert groups.

McCormick said that “no item is too big or too small” and more delicate pieces of property can also be marked as the machine can be adjusted.

Ahead of attending the “very worthwhile” event, McCormick reminded people to ensure they knew their Eircode.

McCormick encouraged people to make time to attend the event, as “it would be a pity to miss the opportunity”.

However, the IFA chair said that if an individual or community wishes to avail of the service in the future they can contact the Monaghan Community Engagement Unit.