Gardai in Donegal have warned all retail commercial businesses in the county to take essential steps to prevent burglaries this Christmas period.
The warning comes after four people were arrested in relation to an attempted break-in at a fuel station in Newmills outside Letterkenny last Tuesday.
Sergeant Paul Wallace Divisional Crime Prevention Officer based at Letterkenny Garda Station stated: “Commercial premises in the county are and have been the target of an organised group of criminals and we have unfortunately been reminded of in the past week. The criminals involved are organised very focused well equipped and are very determined to gain access.
“In the first instance we would appeal to any persons who have had tools i.e. grinders, petrol driven con saws, axes sledgehammers etc. stolen, to report these thefts to their local Gardaí. In addition please take steps to secure this type of property in sheds or outbuildings so they cannot be accessed by the criminal and used in the commission of crime.”
Sgt Wallace is asking business owners to carry out a review of their premises to prevent incidents similar to last week.
He said: “Owners / Managers of Commercial Premises i.e. Warehouses, Rural filling stations, and shops, are advised to review security arrangements and surveillance equipment in order to ‘target harden’ their premises & increase its ability to withstand robust criminal attack. Business persons are also requested to agree a protocol with local Gardaí on responding to Intruder Alarm Activations on their premises.”
Business premises require the following as a basic requirement:
- Intruder alarm systems should only be installed by persons who operate from an established business address that can be verified & registered with the P.S.A – Private Security Authority. Information at www.psa.ie
- Intruder Alarm systems in business premises should have a back-up signalling facility via GSM / Radio back up link in order that they can operate in the event of a telephone line outage. This is a basic requirement and should be upgraded where necessary to keep abreast of current crime trends.
- CCTV systems should only be installed by competent registered persons. Hard drives have to be secured or have a back-up facility. If the recording equipment is not secure – you may as well have no cctv equipment at all.
- Roof and attic spaces should have wire screening to prevent physical access and have monitoring capability by the alarm system.
- Roller shutters must be properly secured and if electrically operated have a remote power outage/kill switch.
- Lighting should operate internally in conjunction with alarm activation to draw attention to the premises. Perimeter lighting should illuminate well without black spots to assist camera images.
- Safes should be securely mounted and have time locks fitted.
- The physical security i.e. perimeter fencing gates & condition of access doors is of paramount importance.
- Staff should be alert and report suspicious activity around the premises and be extra vigilant at opening and closing times & promptly report same.
Garda Stations Open on a 24/7 basis over the Christmas and New Year Holiday Period:
- Letterkenny at 074 91-67100 / Milford 074-91 53060 / Buncrana 074-93- 20540 / Ballyshannon 071-98-58530.
- Remember 999 /112 in an Emergency.