Gardai in Donegal are advising owners and managers of rural businesses to review their security arranagements and surveillance equipment in a bid to 'target harden' their premises and increase the ability to withstand a robust criminal attack.
The warning comes after retail businesses in Laghey, Letterkenny and Killygordon were broken into over the last number of weeks.
Reports emerged yesterday that SuperValu in Dungloe was the latest target with a substantial amount of goods taken along with the CCTV system.
Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Paul Wallace says it is believed that power tools and equipment was used on a number of occasions to gain access and were later discarded at the scene.
Subsequently, he would appeal to anyone who has had tools stolen to report the thefts to Gardai.
Garda Statement in full -
Attacks on Commercial Premises in Rural Donegal.
Local Gardai in Donegal have re-issued a warning to the owners of retail commercial business premises after the selective targeting of five premises since Monday night 11th of September.
The premises concerned are:
- On the night of Monday 11th of September Kee’s Eurospar in Laghey.
- Wednesday night / Thursday morning 14th of September Value Centre Port Rd, Letterkenny.
- Sunday Night / Monday Morning 18th of September Kerman’s Top Filling Station, Tullygay, Letterkenny.
- Sunday Night / Monday Morning 25th of September Bradley’s XL Shop & Post office, Crossroads, Killygordon.
- Wednesday night/ Thursday Morning 28th of September Supervalu Carnmore rd, Dungloe.
Rural isolated retail premises are the target of criminals who have carefully selected their target and have a considerable amount of knowledge of the layout and security equipment installed on the premises. These criminals are stealing items that are easily turned into cash on the black market such as Cigarettes, Beauty products, Razor Blades, Off licence products such as high end whiskey, brandy and liquors. Cash should not be held overnight as it is the primary target of the burglars in these attacks.
Owners / Managers are advised to review security arrangements and surveillance equipment in order to ‘target harden’ their premises & increase its ability to withstand robust criminal attack. Business persons are also requested to agree a protocol with local Gardaí on responding to Intruder Alarm Activations on their premises.
Sergeant Paul Wallace Divisional Crime Prevention Officer based at Letterkenny Garda Station stated ‘Commercial premises in various parts of the county have been the target of criminals in recent weeks. The criminals involved are very focused well equipped and are very determined to gain access. In a number of locations power tools and equipment used to gain access were discarded at the scene. We would appeal to any persons who have had tools i.e. grinders, petrol driven con saws, axes sledgehammers etc stolen, to report these thefts to their local Gardaí. In addition please take steps to secure this type of property in sheds or outbuildings so they cannot be accessed by the criminal and used in the commission of crime.
Business premises require the following a basic requirement.
- Intruder alarm systems should only be installed by persons who operate from an established business address that can be verified & registered with the P.S.A – Private Security Authority. Information at www.psa.ie
- Intruder Alarm systems in business premises should have a back up signalling facility via GSM / Radio back up link in order that they can operate in the event of a telephone line outage. This is a basic requirement.
- CCTV systems should only be installed by competent registered persons. Hard drives have to be secured or have a back up facility. If the recording equipment is not secure – you may as well have no cctv equipment at all.
- Roof and attic spaces should have wire screening to prevent physical access and have monitoring capability by the alarm system.
- Roller shutters must be properly secured and if electrically operated have a remote power outage/kill switch.
- Lighting should operate internally in conjunction with alarm activation to draw attention to the premises. Perimeter lighting should illuminate well without black spots to assist camera images.
- Safes should be securely mounted and have time locks fitted.
- The physical security i.e. perimeter fencing gates & condition of access doors is of paramount importance.
- Staff should be alert and report suspicious activity around the premises and be extra vigilant at opening and closing times.
The public should be aware that the Gardai do not monitor alarm systems but provide a response if the system meets the requirements of the Intruder Alarm Policy. Intruder alarms should only be installed by contractors who are registered with the Private security Authority. Further Information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Investigations are being coordinated from an Incident Room at Letterkenny Garda Station which can be contacted directly on 074-91-67170 during office hours or the General Station Number 074 91 67100 / Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111.
Remember when investing in security equipment, remember quality & efficiency comes at a price, which if properly installed and used will help you to beat the criminal.