Gardai issue warning ahead of burglary season
As the dark winter months are fast approaching, An Garda Síochána is advising people to "close the door on burglars".
Here are six things you need to know about home burglaries:
1. One third of all burglaries happen through the front door
New data from the Garda Analysis Service shows that front doors are the most common entry point in 29pc of burglaries.
Burglars also commonly target back doors (26pc), back windows (24pc) and front windows (8pc), with one in five cases involving a burglar getting access through an unsecured door or window.
2. ‘Body pressure’ is the number one method used to gain entry
Burglars most commonly use their body to force entry into homes through doors and windows.
3. Almost half of winter burglaries occur between 5pm and 11pm
As the evenings become dark, the most common time for home burglaries is between 5pm and 11pm when people may be out.
4. Jewellery and cash remain the most common objects stolen
Garda figures, which are based on an analysis of burglaries from July 2015 to June 2016, show jewellery and cash remain the most common objects stolen, with €600 being the average value of goods taken. Computers, mobile phones, TVs and games consoles are also among the top items stolen.
5. Over 160 cases of ‘keys being fished’ through letterboxes
The practice of ‘fishing’, where car keys are fished through a letterbox by burglars, also remains a problem with 163 cases reported to gardaí over the 12-month period. The Dublin region was the most affected, with 75pc of fishing incidents occurring in the capital.
6. Burglaries down over 25pc in first half of 2016
The figures are being published to coincide with the launch of An Garda Síochána’s annual winter public awareness campaign, Lock Up and Light Up, which is part of Operation Thor.
Speaking today, Sergeant Kelvin Courtney of the National Crime Prevention Unit stated: "Burglaries have traditionally risen during the longer winter nights. Locking up and lighting up over the coming months could be the difference between making your home safe and making your home vulnerable. It’s as simple as that.
"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. Lock Up and Light Up.