The Costs and Benefits of Agricultural Crime Prevention

Research Report

The Costs and Benefits of Agricultural Crime Prevention


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) project ( 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. This policy brief describes the application of cost-benefit analysis to agricultural crime prevention programs, and shows that ACTION contributed to farmers investing more to protect their property.
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