Gardaí urge caution this winter, as front doors used in 29% of home robberies

The practice of 'fishing' remains prominent, especially in Dublin

Gardaí urge caution this winter, as front doors used in 29% of home robberies

General view of a set of keys hanging from a door | Image: Joe Giddens PA Archive/PA Images

People are being advised to 'close the door on burglars' - as figures show one-in-three robberies are through a front door.

New data from the Garda Analysis Service shows front doors are the most common entry point in 29% of burglaries - with most burglars using their own body to gain entry.

Burglars also commonly target back doors (26%), back windows (24%) and front windows (8%) - while one-in-five cases involve a burglar getting access through an unsecured door or window.

The figures, from July 2015 to June 2016, show jewellery and cash remain the most common objects stolen, with €600 being the average value of goods taken.

Computers, mobile phones, TVs and games consoles are also among the top items stolen. Nearly half of burglaries (46%) occur between 5.00pm and 11.00pm.

Meanwhile the practice of 'fishing' - where car keys are fished through a letterbox - also remains a problem, with 163 cases reported over the 12-month period.

The Dublin region was the most affected, with 75% of fishing incidents occurring in the capital.

The figures are being published as part of An Garda Síochána's annual winter public awareness campaign, 'Lock Up and Light Up', which is part of Operation Thor.

Sergeant Kelvin Courtney, of the National Crime Prevention Unit, said: "Burglaries have traditionally risen during the longer winter nights.

"Locking up and lighting up over the coming months could be the difference between making your home safe and making your home vulnerable. It’s as simple as that."

"As the days get shorter I would urge homeowners to make sure their home looks occupied. Use timer switches to turn on lights, lock all doors and windows, store keys away from windows and letterboxes, and use your alarm."