Voluntary body Munitir Na Tire has produced a booklet for people to log details of valuable possessions, to assist gardaí in the event of a home burglary.
The association said the project, based in Cork, would assist gardaí in reuniting households with stolen property, if recovered during an investigation.
The scheme has been endorsed by members of the Cork County Joint Policing Committee (JPC).
The booklets will shortly be distributed to community organisations throughout the county.
Diarmuid Cronin, Munitir na Tire’s community alert officer, said householders will be able to write down the make, model, and serial number of valuable possessions and also list any particular security marking they have put on them.
“People often go into Garda stations to report, say a stolen chainsaw, but they hardly have any details of it.
“The beauty of this book is that you can present all the details to gardaí and they will put it on their systems so if they recover the goods they will know immediately who they belong to,” said Cronin.
The books will be distributed by 900 community associations in the county and will retail at €5 each.
Mr Cronin said the community groups will be able to make a small amount of money on each sale and a percentage of any profits will be used to print further copies.
“The proposal has been discussed enthusiastically and widely welcomed at many community alert meetings throughout the region where people realise that stolen property is frequently recovered by gardaí, but due to lack of basic identification information, they are unable to return said property to the rightful owners,” Mr Cronin said.
“This endorsement and a commitment by the JPC and Cork County Council, who will encourage the uptake and use of the log-book, would have a valuable add-on promotional benefit, over and above what could be achieved by local groups.”
The organisation’s Property Asset Log Book, currently in an advanced stage of development, will be given to community groups of which about 900 have already registered with the Cork County Council Public Participation Network.
The log book development fits in perfectly with the Joint Policing Committee Strategic Plan 2016-2021. It describes as being among its functions the need to identify and promote actions that will enhance security — personal and property-related — within the Cork region.
Mr Cronin said the log book will also enable gardaí to link the criminal in whose possession a stolen item is found to the crime.
He also hopes the move will be a deterrent to criminals and will eventually lead to “a measurable decrease in thefts”.
The project, he said, should not be confused with property marking which is a valuable additional deterrent.
“This is a long-term project aimed at changing people’s mindset.
“From carelessly ignoring the need to log information to preparing in case of the worst. Basically the message to ‘write up the details’ will be reinforced again and again over the coming years,” Mr Cronin said.
Cork County Council, in association with Muintir, is planning to formally launch the log book project shortly.
“Hopefully it will quickly find a place in every home in the county,” Mr Cronin added.
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