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winter safety

Gardaí issue warning over bogus door-to-door callers as darker nights creep in

Officers have urged the public to keep safe this winter.

GARDAÍ HAVE ISSUED a warning to the public to beware of bogus callers turning up at their homes in a bid to defraud them of their money. 

Officers said that there has been an increase in this type of fraud in 2022. 

Many people routinely employ door-to-door traders and repair people. Some of these people carry out very little work and charge exorbitant amounts of money for their services and are known as bogus callers.

As part of their Lock Up/Light Up campaign, gardaí have warned people to take extra care of their home as the days get shorter. 

Stats released by the force relating to burglaries include:

  • Break-ins through front door most common entry route for burglars approximately 33%
  • Body pressure’ the number one method used to gain entry
  • 45% of winter burglaries occur between 5pm and 11pm
  • 1 in 5 access through an unsecured window or door

Gardaí said they are also aware of an increase in the number of incidents of people impersonating them.

Data from the Garda Analysis Service shows that approximately one third of all burglaries are through the front doors – with most burglars using their own body to gain entry.

Other key findings include:

  • Burglars also commonly target back doors (23%), back windows (20%) and front windows (8%), with one in five cases involving a burglar getting access through an unsecured door or window.
  • Jewellery and cash remain the most common objects stolen.
  • Computers, mobile phones, TVs and games consoles are also among the top items stolen.
  • Nearly half of burglaries (45%) occur between 5pm and 11pm.
  • 36% of all burglaries during winter occur during the 4 hour window of 5pm and 9pm.
  • The practice of ‘fishing’, where car keys are fished through a letterbox by burglars, also remains a problem with the Dublin region most at risk.

Recent incidents of this type involve the conmen requesting to check cash held by the injured party as a result of an increase in counterfeit cash circulating in the area, or that they need to check the security of the house as a result of an increase in burglaries in the area.

“An Garda Síochána will not cold call to a house and request to do either of these.

“An Garda Síochána wish to remind the public that any Garda member calling to your door will have identification. Should you have any concerns about the person at the door, you should not answer the door even if they are purporting to be a Garda,” a spokesman said.

Speaking today, Sergeant Graham Kavanagh of the Garda National Crime Prevention Unit said: “Burglaries traditionally rise during the longer winter nights. Locking up and lighting up over the coming months could be the difference between making your home safe and making your home vulnerable. It’s as simple as that.

“As the days get shorter, simple steps have been proven to deter burglars, such as using an alarm, using timer switches to turn on lights, storing keys away from windows and letterboxes as well as having a lock up routine for all doors and windows.”

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