Story by Sally Harding

Wednesday, 19th June, 2019 12:08pm


Today is the first ever #EUFocusDay aimed at preventing domestic burglaries in the EU. The Focus Day aims to step up the fight against this particular crime by informing citizens on how they can protect themselves, and their property. The Focus Day reminds us all to be security conscious when out of our homes while on holiday.

As a member of the European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN) An Garda Síochána in conjunction with fellow (EUCPN) law enforcement agencies in Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland and Romania are joining forces to prevent domestic burglary in the EU.

Gardaí say that one in four residential burglaries in the summer involve entry through an unsecured door or window; that half of all burglaries occur between midnight and 8 am; and that around €6.4 million worth of goods and cash were stolen last summer in residential burglaries; and that there was a 32% increase in property being stolen from sheds, domestic garages, driveways and gardens in the summer compared to the winter.

There are some tips and advice listed below. 

Home Security – 
• Whether at home or going out, turn on some lights. 
• Lock all doors and windows.
• Use your house alarm.
• Store keys safely, away from windows and letterboxes.
• Record details of valuables and don’t keep large cash amounts at home.

Vacant Houses –
• Ask a trusted neighbour to conduct frequent checks of the property and take note of anything suspicious.
• Ensure house alarm is set.
• Install timers on internal lights and motion detectors on external lights.
• Ensure the building doesn’t look neglected; cut grass, trim hedges etc.
• Ask a neighbour to collect your post. 
• Inform your local Garda station when the premises will be vacant.

Social Media – 
• Don’t post status updates about your holidays while you’re still away.
• Don’t post pictures while you’re away.
• Respect other people’s privacy, don’t tag others while they are on holidays.
• Avoid posting upcoming travel plans.
• Consider turning off the location sharing setting on your phone’s camera app.

Garden/Landscaping –
• Don’t help the burglar; safely store away ladders, tools etc.
• Use quality locks on garden sheds, chain valuable property, tools, bikes etc. within.
• Property mark and photograph valuable possessions.
• Tidy up gardens and shrubbery, this improves visibility and creates the illusion of an occupied home.
• Consider defensive planting, e.g. thorny plants around the perimeter for extra security.