Over €6m in tools stolen from construction sites in 2017

Over €6m in tools stolen from construction sites in 2017
File photo.

An Garda Síochána and The Construction Industry Federation have launched the Secure It, Keep It campaign to promote crime prevention in the construction industry.

Criminals often target building sites due to the types of materials, tools and machinery on site.

Construction crime can involve thefts from vehicles, burglary, unauthorised taking of vehicles, criminal damage and trespassing.

Construction crime has risen by 35% throughout the country, with theft from vehicles making up 43% of crimes.

Approximately €7.8 million worth of items stolen from construction sites around the country last year, including tools worth €6.3 million.

"The main objective of the ‘Secure It Keep It’ campaign is to create and maintain awareness both within the industry and with the general public as to the importance of site security, and the security of plant machinery, construction equipment, tools and materials," said Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan.

"We are appealing to everyone involved to go to the Garda website and take the ‘Construction Site Checklist Challenge’.

In particular, I would appeal for everyone to mark their tools and equipment in some way.

"Recently, Gardaí seized power tools from a car boot sale in the West Cork Division that had been stolen in Dublin.

"Thankfully the tools had the owners name engraved on them and they have since been returned.

"An Garda Síochána is very active in monitoring online marketplaces as well as car boot sales etc. for the sale of stolen goods.”

    Here are some tips to keep your site more secure:

  • Set up CCTV if you are going to be on site for a prolonged period;
  • Good security lighting;
  • Fences or hoardings are effective and should be used whenever possible;
  • Keep the number of gates to site entrance to a minimum;
  • Localised temporary security alarms should be used;
  • Control access to the site. Visitors must sign in and vehicle registration numbers given;
  • Cash should not be kept on site when possible;
  • Machinery should be left in a well-lit part of the site with the keys removed;
  • Security locks and ground fixings are great for extra security;
  • Keep a record of engine numbers chassis number, vehicle ID numbers etc;
  • Store your tools in a secure area;
  • Mark all of your tools with a unique identification number, photograph them and keep a record of it;
  • Report all thefts and suspicious activity on sites to An Garda Síochána.

"With the construction industry in recovery mode with over 50,000 additional workers in the industry since 2014, it’s vital that we are smart about protecting our tools," said Tom Parlon, head of the Construction Industry Federation.

A lot of tool theft is opportunistic with criminals looking for a weak link in site or automobile security.

"Taking a few simple steps can ensure that your tools are not targeted."

Digital Desk

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