After spending most of our lockdown days in the safe haven of our homes, it’s no surprise to hear that burglary figures decreased by 25% in Sligo and Leitrim during 2020, with a total reduction of 31% throughout Connaught and 35% nationwide.
Although reassuring and positive to see, PhoneWatch, wants to highlight that burglaries continued to occur nationwide, with one taking place every 48 minutes in 2020. As restrictions lift and the normality of socialising and being outside of our homes becomes more frequent, PhoneWatch wants to encourage homeowners to remain diligent and continue to protect the things and people they cherish most.
Almost 11,000 burglaries and other related offences occurred nationwide last year, with 159 taking place in Sligo and Leitrim and 800 burglaries throughout Connaught. Galway was the hotspot with 413 burglaries taking place in 2021. Sligo and Leitrim combined reported 159 burglaries, with Roscommon and Longford reporting 123 and Mayo reporting the lowest at 105.
Nationally, Leinster is the hotspot accounting for 70% of all burglaries. In the past year, burglaries have been reported in every county in Ireland from Donegal to Kerry. Unsurprisingly the capital, Dublin, has experienced the most break ins (47%), followed by Cork and Limerick. Mayo (0.9%) is the county in Ireland with the least number of burglaries in the past twelve months, with Roscommon and Longford reporting low figures too (1%). Interestingly, break ins in commuter counties have dropped significantly too (45%) over the past year, as people travel less and work from home.
As we prepare to hopefully holiday at home again this summer, PhoneWatch share some simple tips to ensure you feel confident and comfortable:
- Check windows and doors: It may seem obvious, but as we have spent so much time at home this past year, double check that all windows and doors are securely locked when leaving the house
- Secure outdoor valuables: Make sure garden equipment or bicycles are secured in a shed or garage, and kept out of sight where possible
- Close gates: Make a habit of closing gates, especially those leading to the rear of the home
- Maintain your garden: Cut the grass before you go away, overgrown grass can make a house look empty. Also, prune trees and shrubs that may grow more quickly in the summer for clearer views, large bushes can act as cover for anyone who may be watching a home
- Don’t advertise your trips on social media: Keep those photos of your days out and staycations until you return home
- Leave a light on: Timer switches for lamps can provide a cost-effective way to keep your home looking occupied if you are gone over night
- Arm your alarm: If your home is equipped with an alarm, be sure and use it. Research shows that an alarm is one of the most effective ways to keep your home safe
- When going away, nominate a next-door neighbour: An important tip for keeping your home safe is “maintaining an appearance” that your home is occupied. A neighbour or family member can help you keep your house look occupied by keeping post or deliveries clear from the letter box, parking a car in the driveway for a few hours, putting the bins out and taking them in on the same day and acting as the nominated key holder to your monitored alarm provider
Eoin Dunne, Managing Director of PhoneWatch said: We have been keeping a close eye on the CSO burglary figures over the past 12 months and welcome the good news that the total amount of burglaries nationwide is declining. However, as the country begins to open up and we all start to travel a little more, it is vital we consider our home safety. We all appreciate the value of our homes now more than ever - let’s remember this and continue to ensure home safety is a top priority!
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