People living in a garda region which has recorded the highest rise in burglaries of anywhere in the country are being invited to attend a special crime prevention meeting, aimed at making life more difficult for criminals.
The organisers are urging people from north and east Cork to attend the open meeting in Castlelyons Community Centre this Thursday at 8pm.
The Cork North division, which covers towns including Midleton, Fermoy, Cobh, Mallow, and Youghal, last year recorded the highest annual increase in burglaries of any of the 28 garda divisions.
Burglaries in the region soared by 29%, up 101 to 454. Significant increases occurred in Mallow, Youghal and Fermoy.
The meeting will focus on an initiative developed by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) and An Garda Síochána called Theft Stop.
However, it’s not only relevant to farmers but all property owners. Gardaí and the IFA’s Colin Connolly are among the speakers.
Thefts of agricultural vehicles and machinery increased by 40% in recent years.
People who sign up to the service will be supplied with a unique security ID to be used to protect their property.
A comprehensive database will be maintained of all equipment for members to view online. Theft Stop will also communicate with members in the event of farm machinery theft.
Anyone interested can log on to www.theftstop.ie.
The scheme’s unique ID can be applied to machinery using stencil and paint as well as metal stamping.
Members of the scheme can also purchase a metal stamping kit which will allow them to apply the security ID to hidden parts of their property.
A farm gate sign displayed at the entrance of a property also identifies the owner as part of the Theft Stop initiative and assist with theft prevention.
Theft Stop also recommends people take images of all their marked equipment and upload them to the website for use in the event of a theft.
A garda spokesman in Fermoy said that the gardaí fully support the Theft Stop initiative.
“We would encourage all those involved in the agricultural sector to engage with the IFA in order to prevent, deter and reduce farm-related crime,” gardaí said.
“This is part of an overall operation looking to protect this sector from thefts of vital equipment and machinery.
“We always acknowledge the importance of working in partnership with organisations such as the IFA.”
The meeting will also focus on a review of the garda-operated text alert system, set up in the area last year.
The Fermoy Garda District now operates one of the countries largest single text alert schemes, with over 2,600 people registered.
This scheme is operated in partnership with Muintír na Tíre and Grapevine Communications.
“We are always looking for new members, and to join just contact your local community alert group, Sergeant Andrew Geary, or Munitir na Tire development officer Diarmaid Cronin,” the garda spokesman said.
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