Thursday 17 August 2017

Gardaí warn homeowners of summer spike in burglaries - and advise how prickly plants can help deter thieves

Gardaí list 'defensive planting' as part of their summer home security advice

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Stock photo
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Prickly plants could be a viable deterrent to potential burglars at your home this summer, according to gardaí.

Gardaí have listed 'defensive planting' as part of their summer home security advice.

New figures released by An Garda Síochana show that almost one in every four break-ins from June to August results from an unsecured door or window. This falls to one in six during the winter.

The analysis also shows that break-ins are mostly likely to occur between midnight and 4am, and between noon and 3pm.

Homeowners are now being advised to lock up over the summer months and are being warned not to post their holiday snaps online while they are away.

As well as securing doors and windows, gardaí have now also advised householders to plant prickly plants to help deter thieves.

Known as 'defensive planting', a barrier of prickly hedge along the boundary of a home or underneath a window can provide an extra layer of home security, according to gardaí.

Mahonia, Purple Berberis, Ulex Europeans, Golden Bamboo, Firethorn and Shrub Rose all feature on the garda list of recommended prickly plants.

"We want people to be aware of how unsecured doors or windows create an opportunity for a burglar during the summer," Sergeant Kelvin Courtney said at the launch of the latest Supporting Safer Communities Campaign at Bloom in the Park 2017.

"Over the next week, community police officers across the country will be very active in advising people how best to avoid such break-ins. Don’t make the job of a burglar any easier for them – that’s the message.

"We are also encouraging homeowners to maintain gardens and prune trees and shrubs, so as to remove hiding places for burglars on our property.

"A tidy garden also creates the illusion of an occupied home and it improves visibility for the homeowner, or indeed the neighbour who might be looking after your home if you are away on holidays," he continued.

"Remember to put away any tools and equipment that could be used to break into our homes. Don’t help the burglar – store aware ladders and tools, use quality locks on garden sheds, and chain valuable property like bicycles within them."

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