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EU Focus Day 2020 - The Prevention of Domestic Burglary in the Spotlight

21st October 2020

The second EU Wide Focus Day on domestic burglary takes place today 21 October 2020.

An Garda Síochána, as a member of The European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN) and 26 European countries aim to step up the fight against domestic burglary by informing citizens on how they can better protect their homes against this crime.

Domestic burglary is a criminal offence that all European countries are fighting to eliminate. It not only robs victims of their possessions – it can also rob people of their sense of security at home, a place where everyone should feel most safe, and have lasting negative effects on individuals and communities. That is why 26 European countries, united in the EUCPN (European Crime Prevention Network) and EUROPOL, have joined forces to launch this initiative.

In Ireland residential burglary in 2020 has fallen during COVID-19, with a sharp reduction observed in March/April in response to Government restrictions on work, travel, school and business. From March to August inclusive, there were 43% fewer residential burglaries reported compared to the same period in 2019

Speaking following the launch of the EU Wide Focus Day on Burglary, Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Graham Kavanagh said: 
“An Garda Síochána is committed in the fight against domestic burglaries and recently launched the annual Winter Phase of Operation Thor on 1st October, to tackle burglaries and associated criminal activity in the winter months. The rise in winter burglaries is a curve we can flatten by carrying out simple steps to protect our homes; i.e. Lock Up Light Up. 

Unsecured doors and windows still make up a large proportion of burglary M.O.s. When Operation Thor began unsecured doors and windows accounted for 25% of all burglaries, thankfully this figure has dropped to just under 20%. This does still mean one in five burglars simply walk through an open door or climb through an open window. 
The front door (34%), rear door (25%) and rear window (20%) are still the most common means of entry into your home by the burglar.”

Jewellery and Cash make up 75% of the total value items stolen from homes. Home owners should avoid keeping large amounts of cash at home and ensure valuable jewellery is either secured in a properly rated safe or deposited in a safety deposit box. 

Electronics and tools are the next most stolen items. Home owners are encouraged to mark, photograph and record serial numbers of their property. 

The Garda House Hold Property Register is freely available to download from the Garda Website. 

There has been a significant rise in thefts of bicycles from homes, garages and sheds. An Garda Síochána encourage home owners to securely lock items within the shed/garage and use a robust lock on the shed/garage itself to slow down the burglar. Consider adding the shed/garage to the house alarm.

Burglary can happen at any time day or night. However during winter months most burglaries occur between 4pm and 9pm. A common explanation for this is the shortening of daylight hours, which exposes vacant houses that are not sufficiently lit up. 

Whether you are at home or going out, remember these simple steps can help protect your home:

  • Turn on some lights
  • Use timer switches
  • Lock all doors and windows
  • Use an alarm
  • Store keys away from windows
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash or jewellery in the house

To find a security supplier to assist you with meeting your security needs please contact the Irish Security Industry Association (ISIA) click here