New national crime report highlights eight counties that have seen burglaries increase by over 30%
Burglary rates are rising, but it's mainly a regional issue.
The Irish commuter belt has seen a surge in burglaries during the last year, a new report has found.
While the national rate of burglaries only increased by 3% in 2017, according to figures released by the CSO and An Garda Siochána, home alarm system provider PhoneWatch believes certain areas of the country have seen considerable spurts in the past year.
Based on recent analysis of break-in statistics, PhoneWatch found that there were 19,092 burglaries in Ireland last year, which is an increase on 2016 when the recorded total was 18,478.
In their report, they found that the rate in 2017 had fallen in five counties, while 18 counties had seen a noteworthy increase, eight of which had risen by 30% or more.
The worst hit area appears to be the commuter belt region, with County Westmeath experiencing a 44% increase in 2017, while Meath was 35%, Kildare was 20% and Wicklow was 10%.
Surprisingly enough, Dublin's rate has decreased by 7% during this same period.
The report goes on to note that the most common times during which a break-in will take place is between the hours of 5pm and 11pm, with the majority (25%) of burglars coming through the front door, while 40% come in through the back of the house by the back door (20%), back window (17%) and skylight (3%).
Commenting on the figures PhoneWatch Managing Director, Eoin Dunne said "Burglary remains all too common in Ireland, however it is particularly concerning that so many counties have experienced significant increases in the last year.
"After several years of welcome falls any increase in burglary is a concern, but it is vital that efforts are taken to address the blackspots. This responsibility falls on all of us, homeowners must take proactive steps to protect their homes, while as neighbours we should be vigilant for one another.”
He went on to add:
"With the summer hopefully around the corner there are specific risks that can be avoided. Burglary thankfully remains a largely opportunistic crime, so homeowners can make their homes considerably safer by taking simple precautions and steps to make their homes less vulnerable.
"PhoneWatch research shows that almost 40% of burglars enter through the back of the house. This can often be as windows and doors are left open in warmer weather. Garden tools are also often used as implements to gain access to houses, while unlocked garages and sheds can prove easy targets."