File pic of a burglar
Residential burglaries have decreased 44% in the last 12 months but gardaí are warning people to take simple steps to protect their property this summer.
Almost one in four residential burglaries in the summer involved entry through an unsecured door or window compared to one in five in winter. Around one third of residential burglaries involve entry through a front door.
Today marks the third EU Wide Focus Day on domestic burglary.
An Garda Síochána, as a member of the European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN) and 16 European countries aim to step up the fight against domestic burglary by informing citizens on how they can better protect their homes against this crime.
In Ireland residential burglary in 2021 fell as a consequence of Covid-19 restrictions, with sharp reductions observed particularly in the months where Government restrictions on work, travel, school and business, prevented normal movement of people and vehicles. There were 44% fewer residential burglaries reported over the 12 months between April 2020 and April 2021.
Speaking following the launch of the EU Wide Focus Day on Burglary, Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Peter McConnon said:
“An Garda Síochána is committed in the fight against domestic burglaries. This European Focus day on Burglary Prevention is an opportunity for us to remember the simple steps to secure our homes:
"Whether at home or going out, turn on some lights, use timer switches. Lock all doors and windows and use a house alarm.
Store keys safely; away from windows and letterboxes. Record details of valuables and don’t keep large cash amounts at home," he said.
Sgt McConnon also urged people to use common sense if going on staycation and not to let opportunist criminals know that their home is empty.
"As we get back to some sense of normality we may be lucky enough to go away on a “staycation”. If your home is going to be vacant during the summer period please follow these steps.
"Ask a trusted neighbour or family member to conduct frequent checks of the property at different times of the day to note any signs of trespassing or interference and ensure the house alarm is set. Check all doors and windows are secure. (Use deadbolt locks if property is to be vacant for long periods). Install timers on internal lights and motion detectors on external lights to make the house appear occupied and offer natural surveillance of the property.
"Ensure that the building doesn't look neglected. Cut the grass, trim hedges etc. Ask a neighbour to collect post or if you are going to be away for longer periods arrange a ‘mail minder’ service with An Post to retain post for collection and place a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign on letter-box. Inform the local Garda station about the premises being vacant to afford passing attention on patrols.
"If you are going on holiday and your home is going to be vacant, be mindful of what you post on social media. Even if you have enabled strict privacy settings, your holiday plans could be shared with unscrupulous people. Don't post status updates or pictures about your holidays while you're still away. Respect other people’s privacy, don't tag others while you and they are on holidays and avoid posting upcoming travel plans and consider turning off the location sharing setting of your phone's camera app.
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