When jobs on farms and in farm servicing went in the 80’s ag-sag so did the people who’d done them, leaving empty houses.
The houses were offered for rental and the hard working people who’d been part of their communities were sometimes replaced by people who moved to the country knowing they wouldn’t get work and who supplemented their benefits with criminal activity.
Otago police warn that this is happening again.
Const Tremain said criminals, or others, who wished to evade the attention of police for whatever reason typically targeted rural and semi-rural locations.
“The isolation and a smaller police presence are the main reasons, and they will take advantage of rural folks’ general good nature in order to get what they want.”
The shorter turnover of lifestyle properties has been exacerbated by dairying which has a high staff turnover so we don’t know our neighbours or our employees as we used to.
We’ve had thefts of fuel and k-line irrigation pipes and a vehicle taken – but recovered – in the last couple of years and some calves went missing last spring.