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Dublin: 10 °C Monday 18 March, 2019
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'There's nothing more horrendous' - Watch out for burglars after your Christmas gifts

It can happen to anyone but there are things you can do to make it more difficult for burglars to rob you.

Image: jared mckinney via YouTube

TWO WEEKS AGO we saw the arrests of 26 people as part of a crackdown on burglaries in Dublin in recent weeks.

It was also reported this week that the number of burglaries in the greater Dublin area jumped for the sixth week in a row. Gardaí have been issuing warnings to people to take all reasonable precautions with respect to their homes and property during the Christmas period.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Sergeant Kelvin Courtney of the National Crime Prevention Unit said there is an increase every year in burglaries during the winter months – particularly around Christmas.

At a time when many people have cash in their homes to spend on presents or the turkey dinner, as well as expensive gifts and toys they have already bought, it can be a burglar’s paradise and a family’s worst nightmare.

“There’s just nothing more horrendous”, Courtney said. “It’s utterly personal for someone to come and break in – they’ve come into your castle.”

I’ve been burgled myself and I still think about the fact someone had the gumption to come in and take what they wanted and if I’d only had the doors locked up properly… There’s no point in beating yourself up about it but if you carry out some simple steps you can help prevent it happening.

There are over 26,000 burglaries each year in Ireland and the winter months give the criminals involved a longer cover of darkness.

Aggravated burglaries

People are unfortunately also at risk of a more menacing and dangerous crime – aggravated burglary.

“They do occur and they are an absolute scourge,” Courtney said. “They usually are coming in because they believe there is a lot of money or something valuable in the house. The best thing for you to do as a victim is cooperate for as long as possible.”

Everything can be replaced except your family so do everything to keep your family safe.

Ahead of Christmas, people should avoid keeping large volumes of money at home and should keep expensive items out of plain sight. Courtney said it is really all about making it as difficult for a burglar as possible so lock doors and windows with locks that are difficult to tamper with, have an alarm (and turn it on) and make it hard for them to find your valuables if they do get in by hiding them away.

Gardaí are highlighting these four points of advice for householders in the run-up to Christmas Day…

  • Secure all doors and windows and use your alarm.
  • Don’t leave Christmas presents in view from the outside of your home.
  • If you’re expecting deliveries, always make sure someone is there to collect it or arrange for a trusted neighbour to take it in.
  • If you’re going away for Christmas, make your home looks occupied, leave a light on and get a trusted neighbour to check on your property.

Read: Christmas burglary crackdown: 26 arrests in Dublin … in one day>

Read: What should you be doing to keep the burglars out of your home?>

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