Gardaí are helping worn-out parents keep children indoors and entertained while fighting crime during the Covid-19 crisis.
Meath Crime Prevention officer Sgt Dean Kerins is asking parents to send the kids around the house and take note of all the serial numbers of valuable items, including electrical items, garden tools, bicycle and even their own game consoles.
He is also asking them to take pictures of jewellery and watches and smaller pieces, which can be proof of ownership and easily identified if stolen and subsequently recovered by gardaí.
He said: "These are challenging times, especially for parents who are indoors with children and thinking of ways to keep them entertained.
"This is one way that will pass a few hours for them and they are actually helping the fight against crime.
"They also get into the practice of knowing where to find serial numbers on items and recording them - a practice which hopefully will stand to them later in life.
"In any event that something is stolen, the serial numbers will make it easier to identify.
"I would ask parents to put the serial numbers with the house insurance details so they are at hand at all times.
"When we are no longer at risk of Covid-19, I will arrange if anyone wants me to call to their house and engrave large items with their names which will deter criminals from taking them as it makes them harder to sell on.
"If the kids do a good job, I'll call to the schools when they reopen and, with parental permission, organise a photograph of them in a garda jacket, hat, handcuffs and baton.
"There is a copy of the Property Register Booklet on garda.ie."
Sgt Kerins says he has been amazed at the amount of positive feedback from parents since he suggested the idea on social media.
"The post has been seen 110,000 times and I've received dozens and dozens of messages from parents saying it's a great idea."