Eircode use urged to help battle rural crime

Farmers, homeowners and businesses are being urged to use Eircodes to combat rural crime.

The Government is now asking the public to take part in a new initiative which involves marking their property with their seven-digit Eircode in a bid to deter theft and to enable the gardaí to identify the owners of stolen items.

Ministers believe that Eircodes, which are already being used by emergency services to locate homes, can now be used to stop thefts of farm machinery and vehicles.

The programme, which will be run through a not-for-profit company Property Marketing Ireland is to be rolled out in Donegal, Sligo, Cavan, Louth, Clare and Tipperary in the coming months before being expanded across the country.

Minister of State Sean Canney said: "Property theft is very prevalent in rural Ireland and we need to put every barrier in place to rule out this type of illegal action. The use of Eircodes is a clever way of identifying ownership of property and helps in having recovered property returned."

We need to make use of every technology available to us to make sure that we are better and smarter than thieves.

He said the code can be marked on everything from machinery to mobile phones and the identifiers are placed in discreet and difficult to remove locations.

Communications Minister Richard Bruton said: "Eircodes are the perfect unique identifier for marking your property, making it much less appealing to thieves. This service works with local communities to send a clear message to criminals operating in the area that theft will not be tolerated and makes it much easier for the Gardaí to return stolen property to the rightful owner.”

The Oireachtas Justice Committee report last month called for an increase in garda patrols in rural areas

The report on community policing and rural crime also recommended that community CCTV systems should be installed with State assistance and that a dedicated community garda be assigned to each district to encourage engagement and act as a first point of contact.

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