Gardaí Advise Construction Industry to Secure It, Keep It As Over €6m in Tools Stolen From Sites in 2017
• Approximately €7.8 million worth of items stolen from construction sites
nationally in 2017
• €6.3 million of which were tools
• Rise of 35% in construction crime throughout the country
• Construction Crime has risen in all Garda Regions bar the South Eastern Region
• 4,562 incidents of construction crime
• Theft from vehicles makes up 43% of construction crime
An Garda Síochána and The Construction Industry Federation are taking a proactive role to crime prevention in the construction industry, which has historically has been targeted by criminals, with the launch of the Secure It, Keep It campaign. Building sites are by nature easy targets for criminals due to the types of materials, tools and machinery on site. Construction crime can involve thefts from vehicles, burglary, unauthorised taking of vehicles, criminal damage and trespassing.
Speaking at today’s media briefing in Kinsale, Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan said, "The main objective of the ‘Secure It Keep It’ 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, tools and materials. We are appealing to everyone involved to go to the Garda website and take the ‘Construction Site Checklist Challenge’. In particular, I would appeal for everyone to mark their tools and equipment in some way. Recently, Gardaí seized power tools from a car boot sale in the West Cork Division that had been stolen in Dublin. Thankfully the tools had the owners name engraved on them and they have since been returned. An Garda Síochána is very active in monitoring online marketplaces as well as car boot sales etc. for the sale of stolen goods.”
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
• 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.
• Mark all of your tools with a unique identification number, photograph them and
keep a record of it.
• Report all thefts and suspicious activity on sites to An Garda Síochána
Speaking at today’s media briefing in Kinsale, 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. We have a few simple things that can increase the security onsite and prevent these crimes from happening. It is imperative that all property is securely stored, ideally in a location alarmed and covered by CCTV. Security Signage is very important at access points and containers with valuable equipment should have steel based closed shackle padlocks.
"The most important thing for anyone who owns machinery, tools, materials and equipment is to keep them secure. If possible, put some type of identity mark on them by way of Stamping, Etching, Stencilling, Sand Blasting Marking Painting. Then take a photo and email it back to yourself so you have it forever. Every year, An Garda Síochána recover hundreds of thousands worth of machinery and tools, a lot of which goes unclaimed,” added Sgt O’Callaghan.
Tom Parlon, Head of the 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 Síochána Construction Site Checklist in terms of securing tools.
"It’s vital that if you do have equipment stolen, report it to An Garda Síochána. The Gardaí have had some major successes in reclaiming stolen tools so it is important to mark all tools. Finally, we’re advising companies to take extra care in securing sites particularly at weekends. 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 Garda Síochána and by taking a few steps we can protect our livelihoods and prevent this sort of crime.”
Note to editor:
2017 figures are from January to October
Examples of thefts at constructions sites in the Southern Region for 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 worth of parts stripped from a digger on a site in Cork
Photographs of today’s launch, examples of construction site items in a Garda Property Store and the Construction Site Checklist are available here