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protect yourself

Defensive gardening and sensor lights: How to protect your home from burglars this Christmas

Burglaries are down significantly over the the Covid period.

IT’S ANOTHER COVID Christmas but this time it’s a bit different: more home visits are likely this year, even amid the advice to limit such visits to four households at a time. 

Compared to December 2020, when the third wave was beginning, there’s also likely to be more travelling this year – meaning there’s potentially many more empty homes which could be targeted by burglars.

The fact that yesterday marked one of the nation’s biggest Christmas shopping days is just another temptation for would-be burglars. 

Gardaí have once again issued guidance on how to best protect you and your home from thieves. 

Operation Thor, the nationwide anti-burglary garda initiative, is once again being rolled out. That operation is designed to tackle what gardaí described as “the anticipated increase in the number of burglaries and associated criminal activity that usually occur in winter months”.

Official crime statistics continue to show a reduction in burglary and related offences in 2020 (down by 5,810, or 34.7%) compared to 2019.

This downward trend continues in 2021, with official crime statistics for the second quarter of this year showing a reduction in the same offences, down by 5,349, or 37.2% to the second quarter of 2020. 
However, it must be noted that the nation was in the middle of various lockdowns throughout 2020, therefore creating a natural drop off in the number of burglaries. 
Gardaí have once again this year issued their advice to the public. 
The main tips from officers this year are: 
  • Turn on some lights
  • Use timer switches
  • Lock all doors and windows
  • Use an alarm
  • Store keys away from windows
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash or jewellery in the house 

Defensive gardening

Another interesting aspect of the garda advice is something known as defensive gardening. 

This can consist of a barrier of dense prickly hedge running around your house.

According to gardaí, most would-be intruders will be deterred from seeking entry through this route

There are many plants suitable for such a role including : Holly; Berberis; Firethorn; Hawthorn; Blackthorn; Pernettya; Climbing; Rambling or Shrub Roses.

shutterstock_1716523072 Shutterstock / Helene D Shutterstock / Helene D / Helene D

Other tips like putting gravel in your driveway is another option, gardaí, said, as this causes noise for anyone walking on it.

More ideas include installing motion sensors in garden areas, and attaching garden furniture or ornaments to walls or decking, making it more difficult for thieves to make off with.

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