HOUSEHOLDERS across Limerick are being encouraged to properly light up their homes and take basic security precautions in a bid to reduce the number of burglaries over the Autumn and Winter months.
As part of an Garda Siochana’s annual Supporting Safer Communities campaign a number of information stands will be in operation at shopping centres across the city between now and the weekend.
Highly visible crime prevention checkpoints will be established across the city and county as part of the campaign and information leaflets with crime prevention advice will also be available at most garda stations.
Gardai will also be calling to schools and colleges and will be making contact with community organisations who help the elderly and other vulnerable members of society.
“It’s a national campaign, which runs until this Saturday and it is being run locally and we are aiming to promote crime prevention at local level and to highlight the role that each member of the public can play in the prevention of crime and the protecting of their property,” said Inspector Dermot O’Connor, of Henry Street garda station.
Gardai are warning that the number of burglaries which happen between 5pm and 10pm is likely to increase as the evenings get shorter.
For instance in November last year there were twice as many residential burglaries across the country between 5pm and 10pm, compared to June.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office show there were 318 reported burglaries across the Limerick garda division during October, November and December last year compared to 298 during the previous three months.
One measure which gardai say will help deter potential burglars is for homeowners to light up their properties.
“The darker evenings expose homes that are not well lit or appear unoccupied. Buildings that have the appearance of looking vacant are more vulnerable to burglary. Appropriate lighting will help make your home more visible to neighbours and passers-by, thereby increasing the likelihood of discovering unwanted intruders and trespassers,” said Sergeant Kevin Courtney.
Householders are also being encouraged to carry our basic security checks when leaving their home.
“We would appeal to people to do simple little things like securing doors and windows when leaving the property; to consider the installation of an alarm and if they have an alarm to use it even when the property is occupied,” said Insp O’Connor.
Householders are also being advised to note the details of any valuable items which can be given to gardai in the event of a burglary.
“Take an inventory or list of the valuable items in the house and don’t leave large amounts of cash around and also we would ask members of the public not to leave keys to cars or property around the place and certainly not inside unsecured doors or windows where they can be easily fished out,” said Insp O’Connor.
For further information of the Supporting Safer Communities Campaign, see the garda website, garda.ie.