There is the potential for illegal trespass to occur on properties following the release of an interactive map that details farmers personal information, NSW Police have said.
Released last week, Aussie Farms describe the map as a ‘comprehensive, interactive map of factory farms, slaughterhouses and other animal exploitation facilities across Australia.’
The map allows for people to submit information, upload photos, videos and documents.
Because of this many central west farmers have said they are concerned this could lead to illegal trespassing on their properties.
NSW Police Western Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie said it was hard to say whether the map would incite illegal trespass onto properties.
“But there’s always the potential with any release of private information that it could have some kind of repercussions and we’re always talking about security of private information,” he said.
“It’s important that you are careful about where your personal details are displayed, or who you provide that information to.”
Asst Commissioner McKechnie said he wasn’t aware of any matters being reported as a result of the Aussie Farms interactive map at this stage.
His advice to concerned landholders was to report any suspicious activity and to be vigilant.
“We do communicate a lot to our primary producers and land owners around NSW about trespassing and all of those things, the need to be careful, the need to keep your premises secure and to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police,” he said.
“But if people believe they are being targeted or victimised they need to let us know.”
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Assist Comm McKechnie said NSW Police were aware of the map and have had discussions with various groups.
“We’ll be staying across that issue,” he said.
Assist Comm McKechnie said peoples privacy is important.
“There’s some legislation around it and if people report incidents to us and the crimes we’ll take the appropriate action,” he said.