Householders in Tipperary are being urged to exercise common sense and caution as analysis conducted by PhoneWatch indicates we are now entering ‘burglary season,’ with November consistently the worst month each year for the crime.
Speaking about the figures PhoneWatch Managing Director Eoin Dunne said “The good news is that crime, burglaries in particular, has been decreasing over recent years. However provisional figures released by the Gardaí did show a 9% increase in 2017. We are pleased to report that in the first ten months of the year we have seen a 17.5% decrease in serious incidents involving PhoneWatch customers. This follows a similar decrease of 22% in 2016.
“The risk remains significant, last year over 18,000 homes fell victim to burglary. This time of year, aided by darker evenings, the risks increase significantly. Our analysis has shown that there is an annual spike in burglaries each November, where the rate is 46% higher than the average rate for the rest of the year. In the Winter months generally burglary is 36% more prevalent than in Summer.
“There are many simple steps that everybody can do to reduce their risk of burglary this winter. Ultimately burglary is an opportunistic crime, and by making your home appear less attractive to burglars you dramatically increase the security of your home.”
Basic safety tips for homeowners to avoid becoming the latest victim of a winter burglary while recommended by PhoneWatch include:
· Lock doors and windows before, whether you are in the house or not. Over a quarter of all burglars gain access through the front door.
· Alarm your home not just when you’re leaving but at night and especially before going to bed. You are three times more likely to be the victim of a burglary if you don’t have a monitored burglar alarm.
· Light up: The most common time for a burglary is between 5pm and 11pm. During this time you should make sure your home is well lit. Use timed switches if you are not going to be at home.
· Don’t Advertise: Keep valuable possessions away from the windows and keep curtains and blinds closed to make sure a burglar isn’t drawn to your home.
PhoneWatch also released statistics on the most common entry points for burglars. These show that the front of homes are more vulnerable to penetration than in previous years, a trend that shown a continual increase in recent years:
· Front Door: 25% (up from 15% in 2010)
· Front Window: 11%
· Back Doors & Windows: 37%
· Side Doors & Windows 8.4%
· Skylights: 2.6%