A total of 1,063 burglaries were recorded in the Waterford Garda Division between the first quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of this year, according to the Central Statistics Office’s (CSO) Crime Report.
With that in mind, and at a time of growing concern of Garda Station closures and reduced officer hours ‘on the beat’, alarm company PhoneWatch has urged home owners to review their domestic security arrangements.
Said PhoneWatch Chief Executive Eoin Dunne: “The crime statistics offer a snapshot of where Ireland is at in terms of burglary.
“Anyone can be a victim of home intrusions – ourselves, our friends, loved ones and neighbours. Burglars are ruthless and more often than not opportunistic. As homeowners, we need to stop making it so easy for them to enter our properties.”
In the wake of the CSO figures, PhoneWatch also commissioned a survey of 1,000 homeowners in an attempt, as Mr Dunne put it, “to understand homeowners’ overall approach to home security and safety”.
He continued: “The results show that although 85% of Irish homeowners are concerned about being burgled, almost half of those surveyed did not have a burglar alarm – a primary deterrent against thieves…
“The worst thing for many home owners is not the loss of valuables but the lost sense of security. Our homes should be sanctuaries where we should feel safe and secure (so) installing a monitored alarm can give greater peace of mind.
“In our survey, 19 per cent of those with a monitored alarm feel more secure than they did a year ago, compared with those without an alarm who feel less secure (18 per cent).”
The CSO reported stated: “There were 28,583 recorded Burglary and related offences in the 12-month period ending in Q1 2015, representing an increase of 2,113 (up 8%) when compared with the corresponding period ending in 2014.
“Comparing the same periods, Aggravated burglary offences rose slightly by 0.9% to 324 offences, while recorded Burglary (not aggravated) offences increased by 8.1%, from 25,499 to 27,600. Possession of an article (with intent to burgle, steal, demand) offences increased by 1.4% to 659.”
Mr Dunne concluded: “The Gardaí are doing all they can to protect home owners and prosecute thieves. The rise in burglaries, as shown in the CSO report, really demonstrates how homeowners need to be more vigilant and can take more responsibility for the protection of their homes.”