Sunday 25 September 2016

Homeowners asked to keep the lights on as Garda hope 'bright idea' will deter burglaries

David Kearns

Published 22/09/2015 | 08:24

Security lighting can help reduce crime and act as an effective deterrent to burglars, Garda say
Security lighting can help reduce crime and act as an effective deterrent to burglars, Garda say

Gardai want people to keep their lights on in the hope of stopping burglaries, noting that the majority of break-ins occur later in the evening.

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The National Crime Prevention Unit is asking homeowners to keep their outdoor lighting switched on to act as a deterrent to any would-be thieves.

“Darker evenings expose homes that are not well lit or appear unoccupied. Buildings that have the appearance of looking vacant are more vulnerable to burglary,” said Sergeant Kelvin Courtney.

“Security lighting can help reduce crime and act as an effective deterrent to burglars.

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“Burglaries can happen at any time, on any day. However it is important to note that the number of residential burglaries that occur between the hours of 5pm and 10pm, fluctuate throughout the year; depending on the levels of darkness.”

Sgt Courtney said that in November last year there was over twice as many residential burglaries between 5pm and 10pm compared to the same time last June.

Appropriate lighting will help make your home more visible to neighbours and passers-by, thereby increasing the likelihood of discovering unwanted intruders and trespassers, he added.

The message to keep outside lighting on comes as Gardaí launch the second "Supporting Safer Communities” campaign of 2015 at the National Ploughing Championships at Ratheniska County Laois.

The focus of the campaign is on burglary, crime prevention and reduction.

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“[People] should avoid the creation of shadowy, dark areas and position the light fitting out of reach. Aim for a uniform light level and direct the light beam appropriately,” Sgt Courtney said.

“Use a timer switch to turn on lights and other appliances to create the impression that someone is at home. Before you go on holidays ask a neighbour, friend or family member to open and close curtains and remove post and deliveries if they haven’t already been cancelled.

“Every act you take to make your home look as it does when you are there, helps to deter the burglar,” he added.

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Gardaí said in one in every five burglaries, the intruder has simply walked through an open door or climbed though an open window.

Last year over 200 sets of car keys were fished through letterboxes or through open windows, they said.

The ‘Supporting Safer Communities’ campaign runs from Tuesday 22nd to Saturday 26th September 2015.

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