Crackdown launched as construction thefts soar by over 35pc
More than €21,500 worth of construction tools and equipment is now stolen every day in Ireland.
The rate of thefts soared by an alarming 35pc last year, with the impact of this type of crime even threatening the ability to deliver on ambitious house-building targets.
Of the €7.8m in items stolen from construction sites across Ireland last year, some €6.3m was accounted for by high-value power tool thefts.
Thefts from vehicles now make up 43pc of construction crime.
Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan urged workers to carefully mark or engrave their tools and equipment and to seek the free advice of crime prevention officers.
"The main objective of our 'Secure It, Keep It' campaign is to create and maintain awareness both within the industry and with the general public as to the importance of site security and the security of valuable plant machinery, construction equipment, tools and materials," he said.
The warning came as gardaí and the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) launched a special initiative to help workers and site managers protect property - and to avail of the free advice of Garda crime prevention officers.
CIF director Tom Parlon warned that a crime which deprives a construction worker of his specialist tools essentially strips him of his livelihood.
"The thefts can range from €50 for a single tool right up to €50,000 for an expensive piece of machinery which is stolen for the black market overseas," he said.
Mr Parlon said the CIF was now working closely with gardaí to make it as difficult as possible for thieves.
"We are sending out the message to the 130,000 workers in the industry that if you secure it, you keep it," he added.