Carlow meeting hears property-marking device prompts massive reduction in rural crime

A CRIME-PREVENTION service that has been proven to vastly reduce property thefts in Ireland was presented at the recent meeting of Carlow Joint Policing Committee (JPC).

The device marks property with an owner’s Eircode and address, a situation where around 30% of stolen items are recovered by gardaí, but only about 4% were returned, as the items had no unique identifiers.

James O’Neill of Property Marketing Ireland said that when a pilot programme was rolled out in the Cavan and Monaghan garda district, property theft had dropped by 87%.

There is also signage erected warning that property marking is in effect in the area.

The objectives of Property Marketing Ireland are to reduce the level of property theft, reduce fear of property crime among older and more vulnerable people and strengthen the partnerships between community groups and An Garda Síochána.

Property Marketing Ireland is a non-profit organisation and Mr O’Neill is a former director of services at Muinitr na Tíre and was a researcher and designer of the text alert system.

The process involves the training of five community groups with three representatives each, along with community garda. Training takes about half a day. These representatives then provide the marking service in their community on certain days.

It is a permanent mark designed not to damage the item. There is a different pressure setting for various items.

“The level of pressure for a carbon bike is different than a metal bike,” said Mr O’Neill.

Various groups, including Muintir no Tíre, men’s sheds, Tidy Towns and sporting clubs have taken part nationally. The average is two for each local authority, with the device and training funded by the local authority. The device is typically held in the possession of gardaí.

A grant is available for the signage to the value

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