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Saturday 20 September 2014

Gardai to issue funeral directors with security tips for mourners after homes broken into while families bury loved ones

Louise Walsh

Published 14/03/2014 | 02:30

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Funeral with coffin in hearse
Funeral companies are to advice customers on security measures

GARDAI are to issue funeral directors with security tips for mourners after a number of homes were broken into while families were burying loved ones.

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The advice cards, which urge mourners to get a house-sitter during funerals, are to be sent to all undertakers throughout Co Meath in the coming weeks.

Meath crime prevention officer Sgt Dean Kerins, who is behind the initiative, said it was being introduced after a spike in the number of break-ins at homes around the county when owners were at funerals.

"I know it's a difficult time for people and security measures can be forgotten in the grief, so that's why we're issuing the cards to funeral directors to advise mourners on little steps to take," he said.

"If a death occurs, a member of the family should contact the local garda station and just ask them to keep an eye on the house if there's a patrol car in the area during the funeral," Sgt Kerins added.

"If at all possible, a neighbour or family member might stay back to 'house-sit' and ensure the property is kept occupied.

Sgt Kerins added that because of a number of break-ins at cars outside churches during funerals, many people now are asking a mourner to stand in the car park and watch for suspicious behaviour.

CAREFUL

Navan undertaker Peadar Farrelly also advised people to be careful of the information they put up on social media in relation to funeral details.

"We always advise to get someone to mind the house during a funeral and never give out directions to the person's home through social media sites, if possible.

"You have to get the information out to people in relation to a death but you have to be careful about it too.

"It's bad enough to lose a loved one without maybe coming home to find that thieves have robbed valuable keepsakes and memories too."

Irish Independent

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