Sgt Jim helping people proof homes against criminals

Crime talk among initiatives in An Garda’s ‘Day of Action’

Talks on how to keep your home and property safe from criminals, armed checkpoints on the highways of North Kerry, school visits and a number of arrests - it was an active 'day of action' gardaí held in North Kerry on Friday.

Listowel was the latest garda district to host the so-called 'day of action' event, which saw the area drawing on garda resources from right across the county to fight crime and raise public awareness of a variety of crime-related issues.

There's no crime-related issue as pressing as personal security, not least for people living in rural Ireland. Hence, the solid turnout for crime prevention expert Sergeant Jim Foley's informative talk in the Listowel Family Resource Centre on Friday morning.

"We were delighted with the turnout, involving a lot of community groups from Community Alert to the North, East, and West Kerry Development (NEWKD), all of whom it was great to meet. Everybody seemed to take a lot from the morning, as did we in the Gardaí in hearing about people's concerns," Sgt Diarmuid O'Brien who helped facilitate the local day of action said.

"Hearing from NEWKD was particularly helpful for us as a large part of their work is helping people in remote rural areas, with their meals on wheels service as well as the home maintenance service they provide for elderly people," Sgt O'Brien added.

In fact this latter point is crucial when it comes to rural security. "Maintaining a home makes it look lived-in and well kept and sends out the message 'an able-bodied person lives here' which can act as a deterrent to would-be burglars. Sgt Foley covered all aspects of security, but chief among the tips was for personal responsibility.

"The first step is always to make sure your house is secure, to ensure windows and doors are locked when you are out and that any valuable items are secured to a degree commensurate with their worth."

Meanwhile, the day of action also witnessed armed checkpoints on the road. The Road Policing Unit also carried out inspections of school buses for compliance with safety regulations - with all passing the test.

Gardaí visited schools from Listowel to Ballybunion and Asdee as well to meet the young generations and appraise them of the work of the force.

It also saw numerous investigations being progressed, including the execution of a number of bench warrants.