Gardaí in the Clare Division are actively engaged in the month-long ‘Streetwise’ campaign, which is designed to promote personal safety advice.
According to Clare crime prevention officer, Sergeant Joe Downey, this initiative, which is also being promoted at national level, aims to further reduce thefts, robberies and assaults through crime prevention, law enforcement, education and awareness.
The campaign focuses on three main segments – planning a night out; protection of mobile phone thefts, which accounts for 65% of thefts and robberies and staying safe from assaults.
Sergeant Downey said that particular emphasis will be placed on communicating to the general public a strong personal safety message in advance of and after St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
“Our aim will be high-visibility patrolling, crime prevention and engaging with the public, and raising their awareness on methods to prevent such crimes, as thefts and assaults,” he added.
Sergeant Downey said people planning a night out should make transport arrangements in advance to get to and from their destination; they should avoid walking alone in dark places and stick to well-lit and busy areas. He added that people should always be aware of their surroundings and they should mind their property.
In relation to mobile phones, people should save their IMEI number and always keep their phone locked. They should always report thefts to the gardaí and they should never text when crossing the road or while driving.
Sergeant Downey said that people should always endeavour to avoid confrontation and never try to reason with drunk or aggressive people.
“An assault can wreck a victim’s life, but can also ruin your own future. You could lose your job, your ability to travel and even your freedom, not to mention the distress it would cause to your family,” he warned.