Crimestoppers, together with the Gardai and PhoneWatch, has launched a new campaign to combat the problem of burglary in Ireland.

The campaign is calling on members of the public to be vigilant for suspicious activity and to make themselves aware of the straightforward measures they can take to minimize the risk of burglary.

The most recent figures from the Central Statistics Office say that from mid-2014 to mid-2015 there were 28,830 burglaries reported in Ireland.

This was an increase of 2,241 (8.4%) from the 26,589 burglaries reported from mid-2013 to mid-2014.

Crimestoppers is advising householders that there are a number of measures that they can follow to keep their home safe and protect themselves against burglars:

  1. Secure all windows and doors.
  2. Light up you home and use timer switches when out.
  3. Sign up to your local Community Alert and Neighbourhood Watch schemes.
  4. Consider installing a monitored alarm and installing outside lights. Ensure the alarm comes with an outside bellbox to alert potential intruders that your home is fitted with an alarm. Always activate your house alarm.
  5. Fit a door viewer/chain/limiter.
  6. Keep your front and back doors locked day and night.
  7. Don’t keep spare keys outside – instead ensure your neighbor has a spare key for emergencies.
  8. Mark your property and record serial numbers where appropriate.
  9. Photograph your personal belongings, e.g. jewellery and keep these on file.
  10. Keep a list of emergency numbers handy.
  11. Do not open your door to anyone before you’ve checked who it is and what they want.
  12. Do not leave strangers unattended at your door.
  13. Ensure your back door is locked when you answer a call to your front door.
  14. Do not keep large amounts of cash at home.
  15. Keep all bank debit and credit cards in a secure location. Do not share any pin codes or passwords with anyone else.

Speaking to Newstalk, Garda Seargent Dean Kerins highlighted the importance of having an alarm in your house.

“If there’s two houses together, one with an alarm box and one without, there’s a stronger chance that they’ll break into the house without the alarm,” he said.

Garda Kerins also said that on average burglars spend three minutes in a house with an alarm however in houses without an alarm they have unlimited time to burglar the house.

Information on suspicious activity or persons can be given anonymously to the Crimestoppers confidential telephone service by calling 1800 25 00 25. Alternatively, information can be provided to your local Garda station.

Tim Dalton, Chairman, Crimestoppers said that crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility and by taking note of some straightforward tips, the risk of burglary can be reduced.

“People shouldn’t forget also that a nosey neighbour is a good neighbour. A good neighbour is someone who keeps an eye on their neighbours’ property and calls regularly to see if everything is ok.

“We can all help reduce crime in our communities by keeping an eye out for each other, and reporting suspicious activity when we see it,” he said.

Derek Byrne, Assistant Commissioner, An Garda Siochana said that by virtue of its frequency, burglary is one of the most important crimes for the Gardai to combat.

People should realise that working together, the Gardai and communities around the country can combat burglars.

“If we receive enough information, we can arrest the criminals involved and reduce the impact it has on communities and businesses around Ireland.

“Information from the public is crucial to the Gardai. By contacting Crimestoppers with information you can help the Gardaí to reduce this type of crime and its impact on our communities,” the Assistant Commissioner said.