Burglary and vandalism can leave householders and business owners feeling a range of emotions from anger and despair to fear that the perpetrator might return.
Householders can suffer a real sense that their privacy has been invaded and may even feel uncomfortable in their own home, while burglary and vandalism can pose financial challenges to business owners who might have to interrupt their operations while they re-stock and deal with the clean-up and any repairs.
The rate of theft, burglary and vandalism in Ireland
According to a 2019 Central Statistics Office survey, one in 25 householders said their property had experienced a burglary or vandalism in the previous 12 months.
Interestingly, pandemic restrictions and the number of people staying at home appears to have had an impact on burglaries and related offences in 2020.
Between January and September 2020, 16,556 burglaries and related offences were reported which represents 3,385 less than in 2019. Mandatory business closures may also have had an affect on theft offences which were also 18% less than in 2019.
However, as restrictions ease, rates may go back up again as they did after the phased easing of restrictions last year, where by September 2020, data from the five Garda divisions that make up the Dublin Metropolitan Region showed weekly break-ins returning to pre-Covid levels.
That means that as the weather begins to warm up and we enjoy brighter, longer evenings outdoors with less restrictions, the risk of burglary and vandalism may increase once again.
Protecting your home from burglary and vandalism
When restrictions are relaxed, it is natural that people will want to spend a lot more time away from the home, meeting with family and friends, eating out and perhaps even perhaps taking a vacation.
It is important to protect your home while you are away to help prevent burglary and damage with these straightforward steps:
- Check your garden and outdoor areas and put away any tools, gardening equipment and ladders. Consider locking outdoor furniture in a secure shed.
- Consider installing a security alarm that sounds and flashes. Even the sight of a security alarm is often enough to deter burglars and vandals from your property.
- Install exterior lighting to prevent intruders taking advantage of dark spots and shadows to enter your home.
- Upgrade your window and door locks as this makes it difficult and more time consuming for burglars to break into your home
- Install timer devices that can switch on your lights, radio and television at certain times of day to create the perception that someone is home.
- Keep your valuables out of sight. You might even install a fire proof safe to protect your most important valuables such as jewellery, electronics and identity documents.
- If you plan on going away, don’t advertise it to your local burglar! Ask a friend or neighbour to check on your home, collect your mail, water your plants, and perhaps even park in your drive to deter criminal activity.
How to protect your business from theft, break-in and vandalism
Unfortunately, businesses face an ongoing threat of theft, break-in and vandalism however there are a number of actions you can take to reduce your risk of becoming a target.
An Garda Síochána’s Bureau of Community Engagement offers advice and programmes to help businesses protect their stock, equipment and property from a burglary or vandalism, including:
- Limit access points by installing grilles or shutters which can provide a barrier that prevents burglars gaining entry to your property
- Install sufficient lighting to ward off potential burglars and vandals who are more likely to be seen in a well-lit area
- Ensure doors and locks are fitted and maintained in alignment with security recommendations
- Never keep cash on the premises after hours and ensure tills are emptied
- A security alarm should be fitted to standard (EN 50131) and linked to an accredited monitoring station to standard (IS 228/97)
- Install recognition standard CCTV both inside and outside your property as this will not only help prevent an attack but can provide valuable evidence in the event of an incident.
What you should do if you experience theft, burglary or vandalism
Following a theft, burglary or vandalism at your property, you may feel overwhelmed by a range of emotions from anger that your property was targeted to concern over the clean-up and your loss.
If you find yourself in this situation, remember to follow these important rules:
- Call the Garda first to report the incident
- Don’t enter the property before you know it is safe
- Don’t touch anything as this can prejudice the investigation and your insurance claim
- Take photos to document any damage and loss
- Make a complete list of items that have been stolen
- If you have CCTV, make arrangements to obtain the footage that might help the Garda with their investigation
If you think you have an insurance claim, always remember to phone CMG first.
Our team can provide you with expert advice about how to manage the clean-up and undertake emergency repairs without prejudicing your insurance claim.
Our team can also relieve you of the burden of making an insurance claim during what is already a very stressful time. We can fill out all your claim paperwork and lodge it with your insurance company on your behalf. We can also communicate with your insurer and their loss adjustor to negotiate the maximum claim settlement under your policy terms.
To find out more about how CMG can help you with your claim for theft, burglary or vandalism, please call an expert member of our team today on 0818 118 118 (ROI) or
028 8224 9015 (NI), or find out more online at claimmanagementgroup.com