Advice on bogus callers and bicycles

The Community Policing Unit at Portlaoise Garda Station are issuing some practical advice on keeping your home and your property safe this winter.

The Community Policing Unit at Portlaoise Garda Station are issuing some practical advice on keeping your home and your property safe this winter.

Garda Sgt Justine O’Reilly has given some pointers on dealing with bogus callers. The advice is to tell the caller that you never employ tradespeople cold calling to your door. Genuine tradespeople will not be offended by any enquiries made.

Never engage a person who insists on cash payments. Be particularly careful where sale documentation only displays mobile contact numbers. Never leave strangers, even bona fide workers unsupervised in your home. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is and purchase of same may be supporting criminal activity. Be a good neighbour and advise elderly or vulnerable neighbours of possible scams.

If you suspect a bogus caller or suspicious person in your area, never hesitate in calling the gardai 057 8674100. Record details of transport and direction of travel. Bogus caller cards are available at the Portlaoise Garda Station.

The Community Policing Unit also have advice for bicycle owners, as to how keep their bikes safe from thieves.

It is advised to take a distinguishing colour picture of your bicycle. Keep a written record of make, model and frame number and any unique feature the bicycle may have. Retain the receipt and security mark the bike in at least two places.

Stencil a unique code, and use permanent heavy duty marking. Ensure marking is covert, in a unique area, but not easily detectable by the thief. A permanent marker or soldering iron is effective.

Consider insuring your bicycle. Invest in a good lock. Consider how much the bicycle cost, where you will leave it and for how long, and the strength and weight of the lock. The owners of very expensive bicycles should consider electronic tracking.

When not in use keep it in a secure location. Avoid leaving it unattended for long periods in driveways or gardens. In a public place, always lock the bike to an immovable object, even if unattended for a short period of time.