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Infographic: Gardai warn householders that burglaries increase by 25pc during the winter

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Garda winter burglaries infographic. Photo: Twitter/@gardainfo

Garda winter burglaries infographic. Photo: Twitter/@gardainfo

Sgt Kelvin Courtney Garda Crime Prevention Unit during a Press confrence on Anti Burglary Tips in Garda HQ Harcourt Square

Sgt Kelvin Courtney Garda Crime Prevention Unit during a Press confrence on Anti Burglary Tips in Garda HQ Harcourt Square

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Garda winter burglaries infographic. Photo: Twitter/@gardainfo

Homeowners are being advised to take precautions this winter as burglaries rise by 25pc.

Today, gardai have issued a special warning to householders, advising them to take steps to protect their property.

Burglaries typically rise by a quarter in the winter, with the majority of them taking place between 5 and 11pm.

The most common points of entry by burglars are the front door (29pc), the rear window (26pc), and the rear door (22pc).

A fifth of burglaries will take place through an unsecure door or window.

Sgt Kelvin Courtney, of the National Crime Prevention Unit, said darker evenings and lax security can make it easier for burglars.

“The longer evenings can help burglars spot if people are not home.

“For instance, they can easily see if a house is empty if rooms are unlit, curtains are open, and there is no car in the driveway. It also makes it easier for them to enter a residence without being seen,” commented Sergeant Courtney.

“We would urge the public to follow a number of basic steps to increase their home’s security.

“Don’t be one of the 20pc that allow burglars easy access through an unsecured point. Lock your windows and doors, and try and make them tamper proof locks.

“Light up your house – use timers on lamps inside if you’re going to be out, and make sure you have an outside light that is tied to a motion sensor.

“When burglars are in your house they are looking from items that are Concealable Removable Available Valuable Enjoyable and Disposable (CRAVED). That is why jewellery made up 40% of all property stolen from residential properties in the last 12 months. So keep valuables out of sight and don’t keep large amounts of cash at home,” he said.

Jewellery to the value of €14.2m and €7.8m in cash were taken from Irish homes in the last 12 months. In total, property worth €35.1m was stolen between July 2013 and July 2014 from households.

Gardai are also advising people that "fishing”, which sees burglars place implements such as adapted fishing rods through letterboxes to "fish” car and house keys from hall tables, can result in houses being easily entered or cars being stolen from outside the house.

There were over 200 cases where car keys were "fished” through letterboxes in the last year.

Gardai recommends people take the following steps to reduce the chances of their home being burgled:

* Secure all doors and windows

* Light up your home and use timer switches on lights for when you are out

* Store keys safely and away from windows and letterboxes

* Record details of valuables and don’t keep large cash amounts at home

* Use your alarm, even when you are at home

Irish Independent