Gardaí Text Alert in the Gallops
At the annual meeting it became apparent that not everyone knew how to find their Street Coordinator to participate in our ‘Gardaí Text Alert’. We receive alerts from the Gardaí in the local area and then forward them to the Neighbourhood Watch street coordinators, who then forward the alert to all residents in their street via ‘WhatsApp’ text. To find out more about this and to sign up please go to Neighbourhood Watch alert.
See somebody suspicious?
We have advised people in the past to call Dundrum Garda station if you see somebody suspicious, but some of you have experienced delays or were not even able to get through to a community guard. There has been an important update: If you see anybody suspicious, somebody not fitting in or a car slowly ‘checking out’ the area – please call 999 immediately! This will get to Harcourt Street where the operator has the location of all Gardai cars in the country and can dispatch the closest car straight away. This patrol car might be from a different station but just coincidentally passing Ballyogan Road, so they can be down here within a couple of minutes checking out the suspicious behaviour before the criminals take off again. Please call them, do not wait for others to do it and later realise you should have. Nobody will find out that you called, but the Gardaí really needs your help with this to avoid crime and not just being called after it has happened.
Dundrum Garda station is the fourth busiest station in the county (or country? I can’t remember) and therefore unfortunately are not always able to answer all calls; also they are only in touch with their own staff.
Garda advice and general information about the area
- Leave lights on when you leave the house, criminals are much more likely to break into a house it it look deserted.
- Remember to lock your cars and houses (double lock) when out and at night. 60% of burglaries are committed through the front door; a door not double-locked can be opened within seconds!
- Turn on your alarm – when out and at night!
- Don’t leave valuables in the car. Car theft has increased in the last few weeks again.
- Don’t leave your car keys within reach of the front door. Thieves use fishing rods with magnets to fish keys through the letterbox.
- Get door and window latches fixed before Christmas. Christmas is a favourite time for criminals to enter houses.
- Don’t leave Christmas presents in the boot of your car – it’s the first place thieves will look.
- If you’re using a Comfort Access/Keyless Entry System, also called a Smart Key, it never needs to leave your pocket to unlock your car, as the vehicle can detect the smart key from a few feet away. Unfortunately, criminals can clone these keys too (very easily), even if the key is placed safely in your house. Currently the only option to protect your car would be by using a manual lock, such as a steering wheel lock or a locked pole at the end of your driveway.
- Now is a good time to get your house alarm fixed and/or serviced before something happens.
- Please place your official NHW sticker into the window next to your front door. We received them at the Annual Meeting but you can also pick them up at any Garda station or send us an email to GallopsD18@Gmail.com (ask for Julie, I still have a few spare). Criminals don’t like areas where people keep an eye out on what’s happening and are aware of strangers – in short, Neighbourhood Watch communities.
- Trim hedges and bushes, where criminals can hide.
- Lock your sheds: burglars don’t like to travel with suspicious tools in their car, so they steal crowbars, hammers and other tools, to break into (other) houses.
- Don’t let cold callers in! Excuses like needing the toilet, a drink of water or that there might be something wrong with your upstairs window etc. are used regularly. If then DNA or fingerprints are found in the house a couple of weeks later after a burglary, criminals can explain how they got there.
- Another known scam includes a lady with a big, wide skirt. Somebody small is hiding behind it to run upstairs while you’re chatting with the ‘lady’.
- Lock your back door when answering your front door. This is another well known scam – while you’re distracted with the person at the front door, an accomplice enters your house through the back.
- Take pictures or the registration plate of suspicious vehicles, cold callers or suspected scam artists.
- If you notice that a neighbour (especially elderly people) are confronted by scammers, go and join them, help them, don’t leave them alone. People have been scammed for thousands of Euros. Many people feel ashamed, and don’t ask for help or report anything. Please keep your eyes open and don’t just ignore it if you see neighbours being approached by cold callers, go over and check if everything is OK. People are much more vulnerable when alone.
- And a last mention in regards to safety now in wintertime – please check your tires, they should have at least 1.6mm of profile left.
Sorry for a long post, but I hope you found it interesting and helpful, and that we all will be able to enjoy a lovely and safe Christmas time. Julie