Burglaries on the increase with Dublin households the biggest victims

Research from the AA has found that burglaries are on the increase and Dublin households are the biggest victims, while Donegal is the safest county in Ireland.

In the survey of 15,500 people, 28.5 per cent have said that their home has been burgled at some stage and the capital has the worst statistics, with over 38 per cent saying they have been a victim of this crime at some stage.

The biggest increase however is reserved for Dublin’s commuter counties such as Louth, Laois, Offaly and Kildare. The worst-hit county though is easily Meath, with 40 per cent more burglaries in 2012 than in 2004. The survey showed that people from Meath have experienced more burglaries this year than in any other county in the Republic of Ireland.

In Munster, burglaries have decreased in Cork by 11 per cent over the past eight years, while people in Limerick were burgled than in any other county in province, with a 10 per cent increase in the same period.

Burglaries have increased in every county in Connacht between 2004 and 2012 but particularly in Co Mayo where there has been a 52 per cent increase. Of those who took part in the AA Survey, residents of Leitrim claimed to have had the most burglaries, with a little more than 21 per cent. Cavan is worst for the Ulster counties in the Republic, with over 19 per cent of those polled saying the same.

When it comes to household safety, Donegal comes out top of the pile, with just 13 per cent of those polled by The AA have saying that they had been burgled. The CSO figures show that Donegal has seen the greatest decrease in burglaries in the last 8 years with 18 per cent less reported in 2012 than 2004.

In light of the findings, The AA has warned home owners to make sure their homes are fully protected. Quite often it’s through an open door or window that a burglar gains access to a victim’s house. The poll found that over 31 per cent of participants said that the intruder gained access through a locked door.

And there is a warning over the very-Irish habit of “hiding” house keys. “Don’t leave your keys in obvious places like under a plant pot, on the door frame or beneath a mat” advises Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs at The AA.

He advises to lock every door, shut every window and to make sure all exterior doors are fitted with deadbolt locks which are pick-resistant and be sure that these doors are made with solid wood or metal, a minimum of one inch thick.

You can never be too sure.