Vigilance helps prevent crime: Eyes, ears open

The report that an elderly lady who lives alone in a quiet part of West Cork was recently visited by “traders” who pressurised her into buying 12 chainsaws, 11 generators, seven power washers as well assorted tools which, unsurprisingly, she did not need may seem like a flow-of-consciousness script from Fr Ted or maybe one of The Rubberbandits satires but it is all too unfortunately real.

That gardaí report that the woman paid an extortionate figure so the “traders” might leave her Bantry home removes the slightest hint of comedy from the episode. Gardaí report that some of her money was recovered when cheques were blocked but her sense of security in her home may not have been.

Garda crime prevention officers highlighted the episode, which is still being investigated, to encourage us to be more alert to unusual events in our neighbourhood.

This suggestion is as relevant in an urban setting as it is at the most isolated rural home. Garda promises to support vigilant communities are reassuring but they must be made real too.

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