An Garda Siochana along with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) are taking a proactive role in crime prevention in the construction industry which has historically has been targeted by criminals. Building sites are by nature easy targets for criminals due to the types of materials, tools and machinery on site.
Figures show there has been a rise of approximately 25% in Construction Crime compared to this time last year in the Southern Region. This can involve thefts from vehicles, burglary, unauthorised taking of vehicles, criminal damage and trespassing.
The main objective of the #SecureItkeepit campaign is to create and maintain awareness both within the industry and with the general public as to the importance of site security, and the security of plant machinery, construction equipment and materials.
Speaking at Bandon Garda Station, Crime Prevention Officer for the West Cork Division, Sgt Ian O Callaghan said: “Every year we encounter construction sites being targeted. In the Southern Region alone we have had 131 construction crime incidents which have been reported to Gardaí in 2018.
“The most important thing for anyone who owns tools and equipment is to keep them secure. If possible, put some type of identify mark on them, take a photo and email it back to yourself so you have it forever. Every year, An Garda Siochana recover hundreds of thousands worth of machinery and tools, most of which goes unclaimed.”
Tom Parlon, Director General, Construction Industry Federation said: “With the construction industry in recovery mode with over 50,000 additional workers in the industry since 2014, it’s vital that we are smart about protecting our tools. A lot of tool theft is opportunistic with criminals looking for a weak link in site or automobile security. Taking a few simple steps can ensure that your tools are not targeted. I would urge everyone in the industry to follow the An Garda Siochana Construction Site Checklist in terms of securing tools.
“It’s vital that if you do have equipment stolen, report it to An Garda Siochana. The Gardai have had some major successes in reclaiming stolen tools so it’s vital that you mark all tool. Finally, we’re advising companies to take extra care in securing sites particularly at the weekend. If we are sending out the message to the 130,000 workers in the industry that if you secure it, you keep it. Working with An Gard Siochana and by taking a few steps we can protect our livelihoods and prevent this sort of crime.”
Some examples of thefts at constructions sites from 2017:
- €30,000 worth of materials/equipment from a site in Limerick
- €22,000 worth of tools stolen from a van parked outside a house in Limerick
- €15,000 excavator from a site in Cork
- €15,000 worth of tools from a van left onsite in Limerick
- €12,000 of scaffolding at a site in Limerick
- €5,000 worth of copper cable from a site in Kerry
- €5,000 rock breaker stolen from a site in Cork
- €4,000 generator from a site in Cork
- €4,000 digger was stripped of parts on a site in Cork
Here are a few simple tips to help keep your site more secure:
- Set up CCTV if you are going to be on site for a prolonged period
- Good security lighting
- Fences or hoardings are effective and should be used whenever possible
- Keep the number of gates to site entrance to a minimum
- Localised temporary security alarms should be used.
- Control access to the site. Visitors must sign in and vehicle registration numbers given
- Cash should not be kept on site when possible
- Machinery should be left in a well-lit part of the site with the keys removed.
- Security locks and ground fixings are great for extra security
- Keep a record of engine numbers chassis number, vehicle ID numbers etc.
- Store your tools in a secure area.
- Photograph and mark all of your tools with a unique identification number and keep a record of it.
- Report all thefts and suspicious activity on sites to An Garda Siochana