Minister McEntee announces Ireland’s participation in European Focus Day on Domestic Burglaries
· An Garda Síochána launching “Lock-up Light-up” campaign to tackle domestic burglaries during the winter period
· 26 Member States participating in this 2nd EU wide focus day
20 October 2020
The second EU Focus Day on domestic burglary is taking place tomorrow, 21 October 2020. With a prevention campaign and local preventive initiatives, the EUCPN and 26 European countries aim to step up the fight against this crime by informing citizens on how they can protect their homes.
Domestic burglary is a criminal offence that all European countries are fighting to eliminate. It not only robs victims of their possessions – it can also rob people of their sense of security at home. Consequently, victims may experience considerable adverse psychological effects.
Launching this year’s Focus Day, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD, said,
“Domestic burglary is a particularly invasive criminal offence, and one that can deprive citizens of their sense of security at home - the place where everyone should feel most safe. That is why the EUCPN and EUROPOL, and police services from across the EU have joined forces to support this initiative.
“An Garda Síochána are also today relaunching their successful “Lock-Up, Light-Up” campaign to raise awareness about domestic burglaries and also provide advice to citizens about how best to protect their property, particularly during the winter months with shorter days and darker evenings.”
Lock Up Light Up is An Garda Síochána's anti-burglary awareness campaign which encourages homeowners to protect their homes over the winter months, when burglaries traditionally tend to rise.
If going out, Irish homeowners should make sure their home looks occupied - to Lock Up and Light Up. People should use timer switches to turn on lights, lock all doors and windows, store keys away from windows and letterboxes, and use an alarm.
While domestic burglaries have reduced by 43% from August 2019 to August 2020, operational figures from An Garda Síochána indicate that the number of burglaries is rising once more. Based on trends seen in previous years, burglaries rise in Winter months by as much as 20% from the summer season. November has historically seen the most instances of domestic burglaries in Ireland.
Another important initiative for tackling burglaries, An Garda Síochána recently commenced the Winter Phase of Operation Thor on October 1 2020, which will run until the end of March 2021.
Operation Thor is designed to tackle the anticipated increase in the number of burglaries and associated criminal activity that usually occur in Winter months by undertaking targeted enforcement and preventative activity. Since its introduction in 2015, this initiative has successfully reduced the rate of winter burglaries, leading to a significant decline in property related crime.
In order to support the EUCPN prevention campaign to #StopDomesticBurglaries, the Department of Justice and An Garda Síochána have developed two short social media posts which will feature on our Twitter and Instagram pages.
Notes for Editors:
The EU-wide Focus Day, financed by the Internal Security Fund of the European Union, is now a yearly event and aims to encourage citizens to protect their home by the use of a prevention campaign and local preventive initiatives.
In 2019, the European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN), launched the inaugural annual focus day to increase awareness of domestic burglary prevention, by providing information on how members of the public can protect their homes. The campaign also puts domestic burglary prevention in the spotlight at a European level.
During the first campaign, 14 Member States participated in the focus day. In 2020, this will increase to 26 member states. The campaign was initially due to take place in June, but was delayed due the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions in place across Europe, at the time.
The 26 participating European countries are Austria, Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.
For more information:
Similarly, the Garda Síochána website provides excellent crime prevention advice for citizens, and further information can be found at: https://www.garda.ie/en/Crime-Prevention/