One third of home burglaries in Ireland are made by entry through the front door, according to new figures released by An Garda Síochána.
Burglars are using body pressure to force entry into homes and fishing keys out through letterboxes, with €600 being the average value of goods taken, the data shows. Jewellery, cash, computers, mobile phones, TVs and games consoles are among the top items stolen.
The analysis of burglaries from July 2015 to June 2016 also revealed that 46% of winter burglaries occur between 5pm and 11pm.
An Garda Síochána published the figures as part of their annual winter public awareness campaign, Lock Up and Light Up, which is part of Operation Thor.
As 29% of home burglaries occur through front doors, burglars also commonly target back doors (26%), back windows (24%) and front windows (8%), with one in five cases involving a burglar getting access through an unsecured door or window.
People are being encouraged to take measures to shut out burglars and make sure their homes do not look empty.
Donegal security company Orbit Security have advised homeowners to take extra care during the winter months. All windows and doors should be securely locked, even when people are going out for a short period. Keys should never be left in sight, or near windows or door locks.
The company also warns that tools and ladders may be used to break in, so they should be carefully monitored – a useful deterrent can be an automatic light. People are advised to update their defence systems with home alarms, and set them even when they are in the home.
During the winter period, Orbit Security advise that people should be careful on social media, and not post about holidays and events when they will be absent from their homes. People should avoid advertising new purchases or gifts online.
In light of the new data, Sergeant Kelvin Courtney of the National Crime Prevention Unit shared important advice: “As the days get shorter I would urge homeowners to make sure their home looks occupied. Use timer switches to turn on lights, lock all doors and windows, store keys away from windows and letterboxes, and use your alarm.”
Reported burglaries are down 25% in first half of 2016. The Garda initiative Operation Thor has been credited with this reduction in crimes, as the national movement actively targets organised crime gangs and repeat offenders. It involves a wide-range of enforcement, crime prevention and public awareness measures.
As winter approaches, Operation Thor will see Gardai focusing on checkpoints, increasing patrols in burglary hotspots, providing crime prevention advice, working with partners on initiatives such as Text Alert, and denying criminals the use of the road network.
“Having your home burgled is a distressing and traumatic experience. An Garda Síochána is hoping that by raising awareness of some simple crime prevention measures, such as locking up and lighting up, less Irish families will have to endure the pain of being burgled this winter,” commented Sgt Courtney.
For professional advice on home and business security and to find out about the latest alarm systems, visit Orbit Security on Facebook or contact Orbit Security, Pinehill Industrial Estate, Mountain Top, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Tel: 074-9128989.Tags: