A GARDA campaign which is focused on preventing burglaries and thefts will get underway later this week. Thefts from cars in the tourist areas of Lahinch, Miltown Malbay, Spanish Point and Bunratty generally rise during the summer months and gardaí are advising car owners not to leave valuables in their vehicles.
The campaign gets underway on Wednesday and will continue until the bank holiday weekend. The aim is to engage with and raise awareness within communities of initiatives aimed at preventing crime. It is also geared towards promoting road safety during the summer months.
According to the Crime Prevention Ofﬁcer in the Clare Garda Division, Sergeant Joe Downey, the primary focus will be on “burglaries, thefts from vehicles, theft of farm machinery, theft of pedal cycles and road safety”.
“Twenty-seven per cent of all burglaries occur through the front door. Thirty-two per cent of burglars enter your home through an unsecured door or window. 23.5 per cent of all burglaries take place between 12pm and 4pm. Thursdays and Fridays are the most likely days on which to be burgled,” said Sgt Downey.
Gardaí are making speciﬁc recommendations in relation to preventing burglaries. “Lock all your doors and windows, especially when the house is vacant. Never leave a window open for ventilation when the house is vacant. Use your alarm if you have one, no matter how short the period of absence,” advised Sgt Downey.
“Lock and secure all garages and sheds and secure away any property that could assist a burglar to commit crime,” he added.
He said that almost half of the re- ported thefts from cars last year took place between 12 noon and 9pm. Saturday was the most common day for this type of crime.
“Cash was taken in 27 per cent of incidents, mobile phones accounted for 15 per cent, handbags 14 per cent and sat. Navs. 13 per cent. There has been a 12 per cent increase in laptops stolen and an eight per cent increase in mobile phones stolen,” said Sgt Downey.
“Never leave valuables in the car or visible from the outside. Never leave property under the seat. Avoid parking in isolated areas and use well lit areas during the hours of darkness,” he added.
Gardaí are also advising farmers to take care of their machinery, as statistics show that more than 1,300 items of farm equipment have been stolen during the past year across the country. “Consider installing a CCTV system and an intruder alarm and consider joining a community alert group,” said Sgt Downey.
In relation to road safety, gardaí say that inappropriate speed is the single biggest factor in fatal and serious injury accidents and are advising drivers to slow down and avoid using mobile phones while driving.