| 8°C Dublin

Beware of crooks at the door in big freeze

THE big freeze resulted in a big increase in criminals trying to get into homes by pretending to be council workers, say gardai.

They have received a large number of reports and complaints from householders who became suspicious of men calling to their doors asking to be allowed in to check water supplies.

But while conmen appeared to be trying to take advantage of the weather crisis, break-ins appeared to have fallen by half in many areas.


The icy roads appear to have made burglars reluctant to travel to commit break-ins.

Significant decreases in recorded break-ins were reported by gardai in several regions of the country in the opening fortnight of 2010.

Parts of Kerry and Cork reported a drop of 50pc in the amount of burglaries committed in early January.

Throughout the country, garda chiefs reported that criminals did not appear to want to take the added risk of crashing on their way home from break-ins and being caught in possession of stolen goods.


Just as gardai often report a fall in vandalism and public order offences on evenings and nights of heavy rain, it seems the weather can also play a role in dissuading criminals for venturing out on very frosty nights.

The fall in the number of break-ins to investigate did not mean, however, that gardai were less busy.

The number of traffic accidents which required garda attention rose significantly during the icy spell.