Some 408 burglaries recorded in Westmeath in the past 12 months

Statistics released by the Central Statistics Office have revealed that 408 burglaries were recorded in the Westmeath Garda division in the 12 months up to the end of September, 2015.

This figure makes up 28,407 burglary and related offences recorded nationwide for the same period. Householders are being urged to remain on their guard in the run-up to the Christmas period. The advice comes from PhoneWatch, Ireland’s leading provider of monitored home safety systems.

Commenting on the number of burglaries, PhoneWatch managing director Eoin Dunne said: “The annual statistics serve as an important reminder to us all about the importance of protecting our homes. The steady continuance in burglary and related offences is truly alarming and indicates that the level of burglary has not decreased as the economy improves. We are urging all householders to remain vigilant, especially in the run-up to Christmas, which is peak season for opportunist burglars.”

According to data released by PhoneWatch’s Alarm Receiving Centre, some 50 per cent of burglaries are caused by attempted front and back door intrusions. PhoneWatch advises all householders that there are a number of measures that they can follow to keep their home safe and protect themselves against burglars:

Ensure that front and back doors are locked and windows shut; do not keep spare keys outside; install a secondary locking system on front and back doors; always set your alarm when leaving the house; do not update social media or Facebook about your holiday plans; keep shrubs/hedges trimmed as overgrown greenery will give burglars a place to hide; develop a rapport with neighbours and keep an eye on each other’s homes; leave a light on in the porch or hallway to deter intruders; check the ID of anyone who asks to enter your home for any type of reason; if you observe unusual activity in your area, report it to the Gardaí.

Irish Crimestoppers Trust is a confidential means for every citizen to report crime, without fear of recrimination, by calling a Freephone confidential number (1800 250 025 ). Visit www.crimestoppers.ie for more details.

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