STAY SAFE / STAY SMART
The Garda Síochána National Crime Prevention Unit wish to advise, that taking the following practical measures can help in preventing and reducing Mobile Phone theft;
- Register your Mobile Phone with your Service Provider.
- Take careful note of your unique 15 Digit Mobile Phone IMEI number. (The IMEI number is located on the back of your phone underneath the battery, or you can locate it by dialling * # 06 # on your keypad).
- Enable the PIN Security feature and keep your Phone locked at all times.
- When out and about, keep your Mobile Phone out of public view, be streetwise and always be aware of your surroundings.
- Never leave your Mobile Phone behind in an unattended vehicle.
- Properly mark your Phone with unique personal letters or numbers.
- Avoid making calls or texting on your phone while crossing the road.
- If making or receiving a Mobile Phone call in public, always do so with your back up against the wall or a shop window etc so that you can see around you and reduce the opportunity to be attacked from behind.
- If you a have a Smartphone, consider downloading a location finder App.
- If your Mobile Phone is lost or stolen, immediately report it to An Garda Síochána and contact your Service Provider in order to have your IMEI number blocked, so that your phone can’t be used.
Tips on Securing your home during Winter
Homeowners need to be particularly vigilant at this time of the year as the “cover of darkness” in the winter months can be a strong motivating factor in opportunistic and planned burglaries on people who have lost faith in the financial sector and stashed cash under the mattress or in a shoebox. This was never a sensible strategy but it is now riskier than ever because burglaries are becoming more common. 6 low-cost ways of dramatically reducing the chances of a break-in:
1. The cylinders used in most locks in Ireland offer little resistance. Many burglars are able to disengage them in under 20 seconds. Fortunately, replacing lock cylinders is not a big job. If all doors were fitted with more secure cylinders, Ireland’s burglary rate would fall overnight by 15-20 percent. You can have an extra Yale/Basta lock fitted to your front door for as little as €100 as you can see in the picture below. Cylinder locks on the sliding door are particularly vulnerable to break-ins, at the back of the house, which should set us back less than €90.
2. Exterior lighting on a timer and/or a motion-sensor floodlight can deter intruders from getting close to your home.
3. Hide your valuables. Try not to showcase high-value items for anyone to see. If someone can see that you have an expensive sound system or huge flat screen TV in your living room, you’re giving them a reason to believe you have many valuables worth money. By closing the blinds or keeping things away from windows or off your driveway or lawn, you can prevent people from knowing what’s inside.
4. This is an easy one: lock all doors and windows! About 30 percent of burglars have entered homes through unlocked front doors.
5. Purchase a wireless home security system. Some burglars get real sneaky and smart, and will cut phone and alarm wires before they enter a home.
6. Contact : THE LOCKMAN
085 1014 766
Make Your Mark
Every year, large quantities of property are recovered by An Garda Síochána. However, since the property is not marked there is a lower chance of it being returned to the owner. It is recommended that all householders mark their property using methods such as engraving, stencilling, UV pen etc. Property that is marked is less desirable to a burglar as it is harder for them to sell. If property is stolen and marked there is a greater chance of it being returned to the owner. When marking your property use a personal identification code which can assist An Garda Síochána in identifying you as the owner. It is recommended that you mark your property using your Eircode as each postcode is unique to your home address and can be easily looked up online
Record Your Property
As part of your home security, it is important to keep an accurate record of your property in a safe place. This can help An Garda Síochána to: identify and return lost or stolen property to their owners, prevent and detect crime, and assist with criminal investigations. It is important to also photograph your valuables, including jewellery and paintings.
Safety Tips From An Garda Siochana
Securing Your Home
In winter, burglaries increase by 25%.
Over 40% of burglaries in winter occur between 5pm and 11pm.
In 20% of burglaries, entry is through an unsecured door or window.
Jewellery and cash are the most common articles stolen during burglaries.
There were over 200 cases where car keys where “fished” through the letterbox in the past year.
Going on Holidays?
- Make your home look occupied.
- Cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries.
- Trusted neighbours may be able to help you by collecting your post, opening and closing curtains and they could park their car on your driveway.
- Avoid discussing holiday plans where strangers may hear details of your absence from home.
- Don’t let people know your home will be vacant by discussing your holiday on social media; do it when you’re back!
- Leave important documents and valuable items with other family members or a bank. Alternatively lock them in a safe.
- Do not put your home address on your luggage when you are travelling to your holiday destination. A work address will suffice if you want to label your luggage.
- If you normally leave valuable bicycles or similar items in your shed, consider putting them in the house.
- Make sure that you lock all outside doors and windows and turn on your alarm.
- Secure all doors and windows.
- Light up your home, use timer switches when out.
- Store keys safely and away from windows & letterboxes.
- Record details of valuables and don’t keep large cash amounts at home.
- Use your alarm, even when at home
What Do Burglars Look Like?
- It is very important to take the time to lock up your home securely when you leave the house even for a short period of time.
- Remember burglars do not need to spend a lot of time in your home in order to steal your personal and valuable property, 5 to 10 minutes will do So if you are rushing to drop the children to school in the mornings or just slipping out for a moment to borrow a cup of sugar…those moments are all the burglar needs.
- Burglars also know when people are likely to be out of the house and will ring the doorbell to check If they get no answer they will be round the back of the house looking for open windows, unlocked doors; ladders left in the back garden are perfect for climbing through high up open windows.
- Don’t be concerned if you are wrong, Garda partners are keen to check out unusual characters and activity to reassure residents and to work with you to make the community safer
If you spot unusual activity in your area ring the Gardaí immediately on 999 or 112
General Safety Tips To Remember
Wherever or whenever the celebration – Everyone should promote safe behaviour
Drink alcohol responsibly
Never drink and drive, no matter the time of the day.
Plan your night out, tell someone where you’re going & when you’ll be back
Don’t let your friends or family walk home alone, there is safety in numbers. If you have to, walk in well-lit areas and make sure you can be seen by passing traffic (reflective gear/torch).
Take care when carrying your handbag, smart phone or tablet in crowded areas, keep them in a safe location within view
Be aware of your surroundings.
Avoid travelling alone, where possible.
Cultivate a ‘buddy’ system.
Walk in well-lit streets.
Avoid dark, isolated areas.
Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be home.
Plan your trip home, arrange a lift or book a taxi in advance.
Consume alcohol in moderation.
Avoid public displays of wealth.
Keep purse / wallet hidden.
Keep cash to the minimum.
Be alert to pickpockets.
On public transport sit close to driver / door.
Be alert at ATM machines.
Look for signs of tampering.
Cover your PIN entry.
Be alert to scams, the ‘helpful friend’.
Do not attempt to remove any skimming device.
Carry a fully charged mobile phone.
Be wary when using mobile phones.
Dial *#06# and record your IMEI no.
Do not get involved in other people’s disputes.
Do not respond to taunts, snide remarks.
Avoid eye contact with aggressive or ‘drunk’ people
Keep your doors locked.
Keep your distance.
Do not get ‘boxed’ in.
Remember, take your property.
Do not open windows to unknowns.
Avoid parking in isolated places.
At night-time, park in well- lit locations.
Always lock the car, after activating the alarm, manually check the car is locked.
Remember, take your property.
Property should not be left unattended in cars or other vehicles.
Don’t leave property on view.
Lock property in the boot.
Do not leave cash, personal documents, credit cards, utility bills, laptops, phones, sat navs, wallets, bags or luggage behind in cars.
Take care of your Shopping especially at Christmas, Easter and other holidays and never leave it unattended, especially in your car.
Park and lock your car in secure, well lit areas.
Keep valuables including bags and coats hidden from view when left in your car.
Take extra care when using a cash point or chip and pin.
Don’t let anyone see your pin number, never write down your pin number.
If you carry a handbag, keep your purse at the bottom.
Never keep your wallet in your back pocket.
Keep your handbag zipped at all times – crowded shopping areas are very popular with pickpockets.
Don’t leave your handbag in the shopping trolley while you shop.
Stay alert when using your mobile phone. It’s very easy for someone to snatch it out of your hand.
Thieves can target car parks; avoid leaving shopping bags in vehicles for prolonged periods.
Watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas
Keep handbags zipped and don’t put your wallet in your back pocket.
In bars and restaurants take care about where you store coats and handbags.
Avoid Burglaries – Lock Up/Light Up and use your alarm when the house is vacant and when home at night.
Don’t leave easy to carry valuables such as phones, laptops etc. in view from the outside of your home.
If you’re expecting deliveries, always make sure someone is there to collect them or arrange for a trusted neighbour to take them in.
Tell neighbours/friends if you will be away for an extended period or on holidays.
Join a Neighbourhood Watch/ Community Alert / Text Alert Scheme.
The Text Alert Scheme was set-up by An Garda Síochána, the IFA, Neighbourhood Watch, and Munitir na Tire. It has been running for two years now and there are over 700 Text Alert Groups up and down the country with over 125,000 members. More than one million texts have been sent under the system to advise local communities of suspicious or criminal activity in their local area.