Policy, Theory, and Research Lessons from an Evaluation of an Agricultural Crime Prevention Program

Research Report

Policy, Theory, and Research Lessons from an Evaluation of an Agricultural Crime Prevention Program

Abstract

Agricultural crime, including theft of farming-related commodities, supplies, and equipment, causes billions of dollars of losses each year to farmers, insurers, and consumers. Drawing on analyses of law enforcement, farm survey, site visit, and interview data, the Urban Institute and Florida State University evaluated the theory and impacts of a promising initiative in Californiathe Agricultural Crime, Technology, Information, and Operations Network (ACTION) projectaimed at addressing this problem. ACTION collects and analyzes agricultural crime data; encourages and enables information-sharing among law enforcement agencies and prosecutors within and across counties; educates the public and farmers about agricultural crime and how to combat it; marks equipment with owner applied numbers (OANs); and promotes aggressive law enforcement and prosecution. ACTION's activities appear to have reduced victimization and to have increased agricultural crime arrests and prosecutions, recovery of stolen property, and farmers' investment in crime prevention. This policy brief summarizes the study's key findings and its policy, theory, and research recommendations.

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