The Supporting Safer Communities campaign will run from September 23 to 30 and will be officially launched by the Commissioner of the Garda Siochána at the national ploughing championships in County Laois.
The initiative is aimed at preventing crime, reducing the fear of crime and promoting community and road safety and will do this by engaging and raising awareness within communities.
Supporting Safer Communities will be launched at Ratheniska on Tuesday September 23, and in Clare Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Joe Downey will be highlighting the campaign.
“Our primary focus during this campaign will be on burglary prevention and reduction. We hope to achieve this objective, by visible, accessible, and proactive involvement with the various community partnerships and crime prevention initiatives operating in their local areas. Such as: proactive foot patrols, mountain bike patrols and increased high visibility marked Garda car patrolling; Erection of information stands at strategic locations; Meeting with the elderly residents of the area at their regular meeting places to provide them with timely crime prevention advice; Holding a multi agency community partners meeting to promote interaction and joint approaches to common problems; Distributing crime prevention leaflets informing the public of common sense approaches to increased security; and advertising the services of the crime prevention officer,” he said.
Sergeant Downey advised that as the darker evenings set in, burglaries tend to increase over the winter months and as such he advises home owners to ensure their properties are secure.
“Have a burglar alarm installed if you can afford one and always ensure the alarm is on and working properly. Ensure the curtains are drawn in the evening time and try to keep an unrestricted view of your property especially from the front in order to deprive would be criminals of cover,” he warns.
Gardaí also advise members of the public to report all attempted burglaries and burglaries immediately on discovery.
“Over half of all burglaries are through the rear of the property so extra security measures are required. In one fifth of burglaries entry is gained through an unsecured door or window. Keep them securely locked when the property is vacant. The most common property stolen is jewellery, cash, laptops, tools and hi-fi equipment like cameras games consoles etc. Keep your most expensive items hidden from obvious places and keep a record of them (photo) and mark large items in case they are recovered after being stolen,” he added.
Further to this he warned that keys left on a table close to the door can be “fished” out through the letter box so keep them a safe distance away from the front door.
By Carol Byrne