Some €700m 'stolen in burglaries'


Over €700 million worth of goods have been stolen from Irish homes in the last decade, it has been claimed.

Publishing its annual burglary report, alarm company Eircom Phonewatch said burglaries had increased by 8.25 per cent in the 12 months between June 2009 and June 2010.

The figures are based on a report by loss adjusters OSG Group based on a sample of more than 30,110 household insurance claims in that period, the company said.

According to the Central Statistics Office, the annualised total increase for burglaries to the end of quarter two this year was 7.6 per cent.

The burglary report says that for the first time in a decade the most common method of entry for burglars was via the front door (28 per cent of all burglaries).

Some 85 per cent of reported burglaries take place while people are at home, up from 80 per cent in 2009.

“The findings indicate that burglars are becoming increasingly opportunistic and individuals are not adequately securing their property while they are in the home,” the alarm company said.

It said the 2010 report also revealed that burglars no longer strike under the cover of darkness. “For the fourth year in a row, the most likely time of day to be burgled is between 12pm and 4pm (31 per cent).”

July is the month in which burglaries are most likely to occur.

“For seven of the past ten years, October to February has represented the most targeted time of year, which indicates that home owners should remain security aware as we move into the winter months," the company added.

The report said burglaries in Dublin had increased by 30 per cent this year, with burglaries in the capital accounting for 39 per cent of such incidents nationally.

When these figures were combined with the surrounding commuter belt (Wicklow, Kildare, Meath and Louth) the figures climbed to 60 per cent, compared to 53 per cent last year.

The company said, however, that overall the number of burglaries outside the capital had fallen, with a 1.5 decrease year on year.

Limerick has dropped outside the top five burglary hotspots for the first time in nine years, accounting for 4.5 per cent of burglaries committed nationwide.

Chief executive of Eircom Phonewatch Eoin Dunne said burglary, “regardless of boom or bust”, was a crime phenomenon that was “simply not going away”.

A spokeswoman for Eircom Phonewatch declined to provide the actual numbers on which the percentage calculations for the increases in burglaries were based.