Limerick City and County Council is teaming up with An Garda Síochána, community groups across Limerick to help reduce the incidence of property theft.
The Council has purchased two property marking machines at a cost of €12,650 which can be loaned out to community groups who in turn organise property marking events in the localities.
The main objective of purchasing these machines is to reduce the level of property theft in Limerick city and county, reducing fear of crime and strengthening the partnership between communities, An Garda Síochána and the local authority.
How Property Marking works:
- The property machine works by stamping the person’s Eircode onto their item using a series of dots.
- As the Eircode is unique to the owner of the property, the item is easily tracked back to them if stolen.
- The depth and size of the dots is adjusted to suit the material to be marked, e.g. plastic, wood, carbon fibre etc. The only type of material it can’t be used on is that which might shatter on impact, such as glass or ceramics.
- Marking the property acts as a deterrent to thieves as they are likely to move on rather than risk getting caught with an item which can instantly be identified as not belonging to them.
Special training sessions provided by James O’Neill of Property Marking Ireland have taken place in UL Bohemians RFC grounds in Annacotty, for a total of 30 people from various community groups and the Community Department of the Council to showcase how the system works.
In addition 24 Gardaí have been trained in the use of the machines.
Launching the new initiative, Deputy Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Tom Ruddle said: “This is a wonderful initiative being led by Limerick City and County Council in partnership with the Gardaí and local communities. It is these small steps that we can all take that will make it difficult for opportunist thieves and travelling gangs to steal our property. It shows that we must all play our part to rid our areas of this nasty type of activity.”
“It is a very simple thing to do, mark your property and I would encourage community groups across Limerick to get in contact and to organise property marking events, to help prevent thefts and to protect our communities.”
Sergeant Noel Barry for Newcastle West Garda District said: "This property marking initiative is important for two reasons. One is from the Garda point of view in relation to recovering property and finding owners for the property and returning it to them, while the second reason is from a community engagement point of view and for the community themselves.
“It's a joint approach between An Garda Síochána and the community in that we meet up we get an opportunity to meet communities when we hold this event. So it's going to increase engagement and we hope, increase the public's perception of safety in an area as well. And it will result in reducing crime in areas as well.”
Initial areas covered are the Newcastle West Municipal District and Limerick City North, with it rolling out to other districts in the coming months.
Stickers saying that property has been marked are available when borrowing the machine. These add value, as they draw a would-be thief’s attention to the fact that the item is marked, and thus may deter the thief from going through with it.
The displaying of stickers have been shown to greatly reduce the incidence of theft in local authority areas that already use property marking machines.
The property marking machine can be booked through the Community Department of Limerick City and County Council.
It is available free of charge to community groups, sports clubs etc. who wish to organise property marking events in their area. Full training is given to volunteers.