An Garda Síochana are advising homeowners to ‘lock up and light up’ ahead of their new campaign to spread awareness of ‘bogus callers’ to homes and burglaries.
Gardaí found a big increase in these fraud callers to people’s homes in 2022, with ‘bogus tradesmen’ knocking at doors having increased by 15% in the last year.
The most common entry route for burglars is the front door at 33%, with ‘body pressure’ being the number one method used to gain entry to a home.
As the evenings get darker and longer coming up to Winter, the Gardaí are reminding the public to ensure their doors and windows are locked and lights are on to show people are at home as 45% of burglaries occur between 5pm and 11pm.
1 in 5 robbers gain access through an unsecured window or door, so double checking these are locked is vital.
A number of incidents involving ‘conmen’ that impersonate Gardaí and ask to check cash that the resident has in their home due to the rise of counterfeit money have occurred.
These impersonators also ask to gain access to a resident’s home to check their security, but Gardaí have said they will not cold call a house and request either of these.
Gardaí will always have identification on them and will give you information which allows you to check with the local Garda Station that they are who they say they are if you are worried for your safety.
An Garda Síochana has released some steps to protect your home whether you are at home or not.
- Turn on some lights, LED bulbs are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs.
- Use timer switches/ motion detectors/ smart lights to turn on lights via your phone.
- Use motion detector/sensor lights outside, make sure they cover the door and not just the area near the door.
- Lock all doors and windows as part of your regular routine.
- Use an alarm, and make sure to get it serviced and ensure battery pack is working.
- Store keys away from windows.
- Don’t keep large amounts of cash or jewellery in the house.