Surge in criminal activity at unoccupied premises

A leading protection specialist company has warned property owners to be extra vigilant about securing their premises after experiencing a surge in attempted criminal activity at unoccupied premises in recent months.

New figures released by Netwatch show there has been a 35 per cent increase in attempted break-ins at the unoccupied premises they protect, when compared with figures for 2009. The company has also seen a 30 per cent increase in calls from property owners who are concerned about the liability and criminality issues associated with untenanted premises.

David Walsh, Managing Director of Netwatch explains, “The ‘eyes of the street’ that typically act as a deterrent to criminals do not exist in empty premises or estates, so the opportunity to engage in criminal activity is heightened. Vacant properties are often readily accessible, and criminals can engage in activity without detection.”

Netwatch have also detected a positive correlation between the lengths of time a premises lies empty and incidences of criminal behaviour. “Criminal activity increases in times of economic hardship, so it is feasible to assume that we will continue to see increased vandalism and theft from these premises over the next few years”, says Walsh.

According to Walsh, Irish criminals are becoming ever more industrious in their pursuit of easy money and as they become ever more desperate, burglar alarms and static CCTV systems are less of a deterrent, “so, the focus has to be retrained on preventing criminal activity”.

Netwatch deploys the most advance protection technologies including GPS tracking, audio visual detection, personal protector equipment and wireless perimeter security cordons to protect individuals and premises. Protection specialists at the Netwatch Command Centre direct operations remotely and intervene as soon as a security cordon is breached, alerting the intruders to the fact that they are being watched and that the gardaí have been informed. Statistics to date have shown that this intervention prevents any crime taking place in over 99 per cent of cases.


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