18 burglaries reported in space of one week

by Ian Begley
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LUCAN homes have been the target of 18 burglaries in just one week, making it the worst week for house break-ins in the area for almost 18 months.
Among estates to have been hit were Hillcrest, Beech Park, Castle Riada and Tullyhall.
Vice-chair of the South Dublin Joint Policing Committee, Cllr William Lavelle (FG), has called on the community to be “extra vigilant”.
He said: “Garda intelligence would suggest that often burglars will have checked out houses and areas in advance of a robbery. We all need to be vigilant and keep an eye out for suspicious activity in our estates and on our roads, and to report any suspicious activity to Lucan gardai at 01 666 7300.
“I welcome the move by gardai to put on dedicated car patrols in Lucan aimed at deterring burglaries.”
Cllr Gus O’Connell (Ind), who is the chairman for the Joint Policing Committee, told The Gazette that “what the gardai do once there is an increase in burglaries is to up their level of surveillance”.
He said: “I would very strongly recommend that local residents become members of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
“In my own area in Palmerstown, we have a very good Neighborhood Watch and if anything suspicious is heard around the area, the residents would immediately be alerted.”
John Gorman, coordinator of Palmerstown Neighbourhood Watch, said that the “principal benefit [of Neighbourhood Watches] are that people become much more aware of the dangers of things like going out, not properly locking their houses and leaving porches open”.
He said: “We had a spell last year of burglaries over a while, and some of them [burglars] are actually going through people’s front doors, even though there were porches there.
“The Neighbourhood Watch is part of our residents’ association and we send around regular newsletters to the residents of the estate. In them, we nearly always make reference to looking after your house.”
He added that people in his area have become more aware of their own properties and more aware of looking out for neighbours’ properties.
“One of the things we noticed is that people who had been burgled were just going around to the local shop, and they wouldn’t have double-locked their front and back doors.
“We have encouraged our neighbourhood watch to [encourage] people to have alarms – not everyone has alarms.”
Gorman recommended that those interested in setting up their own Neighbourhood Watch scheme get in touch with their local Garda station “who would only be too delighted to come along and show them how to operate it”.
A spokesperson from the Department of Justice told The Gazette that: “Gardai monitor all local crime trends carefully, and the Garda authorities are best placed to comment on specific incidents and responses at a local level.
“The latest crime statistics show that the rate of burglary has decreased by 10.4% nationally for the 12 months ending September 30, 2013, and this underlines the impact being made by gardai under Operation Fiacla [that was set up specifically to target burglars].
“As part of the measures which are coordinated under Operation Fiacla, Operation Acer [similar to Fiacla] is in force throughout the Dublin Metropolitan Region.
“It is an intelligence-driven operation and includes analysis-led checkpoints and patrols to target specific areas and case manage targeted offenders.
“These arrangements are kept under review to ensure adjustments are made to maintain the effective focus of the operation,” said the spokesperson.
Operation Fiacla and Operation Acer operate alongside ongoing community policing measures, incorporating problem-solving measures with local communities and maintaining an ongoing liaison with schools, businesses, households and groups such as Neighbourhood Watch in providing crime-prevention advice and assistance to victims of burglary.

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