The burglary rate in Laois and Offaly is rising faster than the national average, according to new figures from an alarm company.
Laois and Offaly experienced a significant rise in the rate of burglaries in 2017 with a 6% increase. According to PhoneWatch, which today launched its Annual Burglary Report, there was a 3% increase in the number of burglaries nationally, but there are significant regional variations.
In total there were 650 burglaries across the counties last year. This equates to a burglary rate of 12 per 1,000 households, which is slightly higher than the national average of 11. The busiest Garda stations in the two counties were Portlaoise (108), Tullamore (107) and Edenderry (31), while the quietest was Kinnitty (3).
PhoneWatch Managing Director is Eoin Dunne.
“Burglary remains all too common in Ireland and it is concerning that so many counties, including Laois and Offaly, experienced significant increases last year.
“After several years of welcome falls any increase is burglary is a concern, but it is vital that efforts are taken to address the blackspots. This responsibility falls on all of us, homeowners must take proactive steps to protect their homes and neighbours should be vigilant for one another," he said.
He recommends ways to lower risks.
"Burglary thankfully remains a largely opportunistic crime, so homeowners can make their homes considerably safer by taking simple precautions and steps to make their homes less vulnerable. PhoneWatch research shows that almost 40% of burglars enter through the back of the house. This can often be as windows and doors are left open in warmer weather. Garden tools are also often used as implements to gain access to houses, while unlocked garages and sheds can prove easy targets.”
PhoneWatch advice includes:
· Always lock windows and doors, and double check in the warmer weather as it may be less obvious.
· Do not leave garden equipment lying around, with ladders the most important to secure.
· Ensure garages and sheds are locked after use
· When away from home, ensure that post and bins are collected, these can be an easy sign that a home is unoccupied
· Use the spring and summer to ensure shrubs and trees are tidied, these can provide a helping hand in gaining access to upstairs windows
· While the evenings are getting brighter, it is still worth setting timer switches on lights to make your home appear occupied after dark.
· When on holidays, wait until you’re home before posting those holiday snaps on social media, to avoid letting others know your home is empty.