The number of burglaries in Donegal increased by 35% in 2017, according to CSO crime stats.
In total, there were 292 burglaries in Donegal last year. While this is a significant increase with a burglary rate of 5 per 1,000 homes, the county is still considerably below the national average of 11. The number of recorded burglaries in the county in 2016 was 217.
The busiest Garda stations in the county were Letterkenny (95), Carndonagh (16) and Ballybofey (16), while the quietest three recorded no burglaries, An Craoslach, An Charraig and Clogher.
These figures were included in the Annual Burglary Report by Phonewatch today, where a 3% increase in the number of burglaries was recorded nationally, with significant regional variations which are a cause for concern.
Speaking about the figures PhoneWatch Managing Director, Eoin Dunne said “Burglary remains all too common in Ireland and it is concerning that so many counties, including Donegal, experienced significant increases last year.
“After several years of welcome falls any increase is burglary is a concern, but it is vital that efforts are taken to address the blackspots. This responsibility falls on all of us, homeowners must take proactive steps to protect their homes and neighbours should be vigilant for one another.”
Mr Dunne advised on specific risks that can be avoided in the summertime.
“PhoneWatch research shows that almost 40% of burglars enter through the back of the house. This can often be as windows and doors are left open in warmer weather. Garden tools are also often used as implements to gain access to houses, while unlocked garages and sheds can prove easy targets.”
Summer home safety advice includes:
· Always lock windows and doors, and double check in the warmer weather as it may be less obvious.
· Do not leave garden equipment lying around, with ladders the most important to secure.
· Ensure garages and sheds are locked after use
· When away from home, ensure that post and bins are collected, these can be an easy sign that a home is unoccupied
· Use the spring and summer to ensure shrubs and trees are tidied, these can provide a helping hand in gaining access to upstairs windows
· While the evenings are getting brighter, it is still worth setting timer switches on lights to make your home appear occupied after dark.
· When on holidays, wait until you’re home before posting those holiday snaps on social media, to avoid letting others know your home is empty.