Holiday Security and Other Updates

Schools are off, traffic is lighter and although the weather may not be providing the summer experience of 2018, it is holiday time for many people.

Holiday Security

For those heading off on holidays we wish you safe travels.    Before you go, there are a few important items to consider.

  • Use timers for lights to make it less obvious that the house is empty.
  • Inform neighbours that you will be away and let them know who they can call if your alarm is activated.
  • Have a friend or neighbour check on your home and remove visible post.
  • Make sure that pets are properly cared or and not left alone as this can be distressing for both the pets and the neighbours that experience their distress,
  • Cut grass before you leave and ask a neighbour to bring in your bins if necessary.

For those at home – there is nowhere better that Ireland when the weather cooperates.

  • Be alert to alarm activations and take the time to investigate while maintaining your own safety and being conscious of your neighbour’s privacy.
  • Contact the nominated key holder (if known) or check with other neighbours.
  • Be alert for suspicious characters, strange cars and vans and bogus callers in the area.
  • If you do see something suspicious contact the Gardaí in Blanchardstown on 01 6667000 and inform your neighbourhood watch street coordinator.

Unknown Tradesmen / Collectors 

Particularly at this time of the year we need to be alert to unknown trades people calling door to door offering to do work.    They are invariably ‘doing some work for some of your neighbours’ and offering a great deal as a result.

While many may be genuine, there are many risks associated with engaging with such trades.
– Scams on overcharging and seeking additional payments for work not done
– Distraction burglaries while you are engaged with them
– What happens if they are injured on your property?   Are they insured?
– Use of this as a way of assessing which homes are empty – particularly at this time of year.

Engaging with such trades puts you and your neighbours at risk.     In an area as small as our own – we have experienced all of the above issues over in just the last 4 years.    Our advice is not to engage with such trades and not to give them the excuse to wander from house to house in our area.

We have been fortunate in our neighbourhood area, not to have had much criminal activity.   We have had 4 break-ins over the last 4 years and around 9 attempted break-ins in that same period.   On at least 5 occasions in that period, a break-in or attempted break-in occurred (in our area – or a neighbouring area such as this week with Beechpark) within 48 hours of our receiving a report of suspicious trades in the area.   Some of that may be coincidence but the advice from Gardaí is also not to engage.

We have compiled a list of tradespeople that have been recommended by neighbours and this is available on www.pineshandleigh.com.   We would be happy to add to this if you have other trades that you can recommend.

Castleknock Tidy Towns – doing great work – on Auburn Avenue the next 2 Saturdays

We have all noticed the great work being done by Castleknock Tidy Towns and appreciate their efforts in improving our area.    They have already tackled both ends of Auburn Avenue and I am told that over the next 2 Saturdays, they will be looking to join the dots and continue their work on Auburn Avenue between 10am and 12 noon.

This is a great local initiative with local volunteers showing leadership, including a number from our own area.   Many hands make light work and if you can give some time to join them – especially over the next couple of weeks. it will make a real difference to the area.    They also welcome ‘bored’ teenagers on their holidays and families that want to join in.

You can meet them at Myos at 10am or if you prefer just join them on Auburn Avenue when they arrive.   Wear some old clothes and gloves and yellow hi-vis vests will be provided on the day.   There is tea and coffee in Myos afterwards for those that are interested.

Beechpark Lawn:

Over the last few weeks a letter was distributed to homes in Beechpark Lawn about joining our Neighbourhood Watch area and I believe that the response was overwhelmingly positive.     In the coming weeks we will sign them up for communications and they will also contribute towards the scheme on the same basis as the rest of the homes.

We look forward to welcoming some new neighbours to the group and some new Street-Coordinators for that part of our area.    Although not a major priority, we may want to look at a more inclusive scheme name – Pines Hadleigh Beechpark may be a bit of a mouthful so if you have any suggestions, they are welcome.

Access for Emergency Services:

Dublin Fire Brigade and the National Ambulance service have tweeted a number of times in recent months pictures of situations around Dublin where they have not been able to access homes due to parking on the approach roads.    Hopefully we will not have much need of their services but it is worth checking when parking to ensure that there is enough room for a Fire Brigade or Ambulance to pass if needed.

As always, if you notice something suspicious call the Gardaí on 01 6667000 or 999 and also let your street coordinator know.

Enjoy your summer.

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June Holiday Weekend

It is hard to believe that it is the June Bank Holiday weekend already.

Just a quick note with some updates for you all.
 

Holiday Weekend:

With the holiday weekend, many will be taking the opportunity to get away for a few days.   We wish you all safe travels and remind you to take care on the roads which will be busy.

For those of us remaining, please keep an extra eye out for strange vehicles, trades people knocking on doors and for alarm activations.    Burglars also know that many homes will be empty and this is an opportunity for them.

We have already started to see the impact of the annual Bloom in the Park traffic on Auburn Avenue.    Gardaí will be out to try to keep things moving but for shorter journeys it is likely that walking or cycling may be the best way to get around.

Garda Tool Marking Event:

Mountjoy Community Policing will be hosting a tool marking and security advice morning on Tuesday 4th June 2019. 

Theft of tools has been a significant problem over the last couple of years and this may be of interest to those with expensive tools and equipment.

The event takes place at Phibsboro Electrical Wholesalers Ltd on North Circular Road between 8.30am and 11.30am.    If interested please bring your tools and  Driving license / photo ID.

Castleknock Tidy Towns:

We have all noticed the great work being done by Castleknock Tidy Towns and appreciate their efforts in improving our area.    They will be out again this Saturday – meeting at 10am at Myos Car park and I believe that they are tackling the area along Castleknock road between the village and the entrance to the Georgian Village.

They would love to see some more volunteers join the group.   If you can be available, bring your gardening clothes, gloves and a brush or a spade and join them.

Beechpark Lawn:

At our AGM we discussed that some residents in Beechpark Lawn expressed an interest in participating in our Neighbourhood Watch scheme.     We met again with them over the last few days and they will canvas opinion among their residents about interest in joining the scheme over the coming weeks.

Our scheme borders Beechpark Lawn (around 35 houses) at the Pines and across Auburn Avenue at Hadleigh Green so if there was an interest from them in joining, they would be very welcome and it would make good sense.

Security Assessments:

We have an open invitation from our local locksmiths (D15 and Lacey Locksmiths) and from B-at-Ease Security solutions (alarms and CCTV) for a free assessment of your current home security.     If I can get an idea of the numbers that might be interested in such an assessment, we might arrange an evening in the coming months where they will be in the area.

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend.

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2019 AGM Minutes

Minutes of AGM

1.Attendance

Thirty seven neighbours attended the meeting.
We also had a representative from Beechpark Lawn (they have expressed an interest in getting involved in Neighbourhood Watch) and speakers from Castleknock Tidy Towns and Joe Moonan from B-at-Ease security solutions.
Apologies were received from 9 neighbours and from Garda Alex McDermott Roe and Garda Karen Baxter.

2. Prior year minutes

The minutes of 2018 AGM were taken as read and approved by the attendees.

3. Area co-ordinators report 2018/2019

Reported Incidents to the NW:

  2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19
Break ins 1 1 0 1
Car theft 2 0 1 0
Items stolen from cars 2 3 3 1
Attempted break-ins 3 2-3 3 1
Anti-social behaviour 2 0 0 0
Suspicious tradesmen / activity Multiple Multiple Multiple Multiple
Christmas trees dumped Lots Later but still lots Much improved 😊

Engaging with unknown callers / trades to our doors poses a risk to you and to your neighbours.

  • Provides them with a valid excuse to be in the area
  • Overcharging / charging for work not done / looking for cash up front and not doing work
  • Insurance risk in case of injury
  • Distraction burglary

Check that cars are locked at night – nothing visible that would attract opportunistic thieves.
Text alerts and communications:

  2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19
Text alerts – Gardaí 0 5 2 1
Text alerts – NW Group 0 12 19 9
Text messages – NW Group ~6 ~ 7 10 7
eMail messages 14 20 22 10

Social:

  2015/16 2016/17 2017 /18 2018 / 19 Comment
Neighbours Golf 33 30 24 27 Castleknock GC
Neighbours Night 50 70 58 71 Vue Restaurant
Locksmiths assessment 20 12 NA NA D15 & Lacey
Crime prevention talk NA NA 35 NA Sgt. V Connolly
Alarms and CCTV talk NA NA NA 39 AGM

4.Treasurers Report

Accounts

Accounts are shown to the 31st March each year.   Household contributions received €40.
Received a grant from Muntir Na Tire of €350 which covers the expenditure on the Text alerts.   We may get further grants, but this is only allocated annually, and we do not budget for same.
The neighbours’ night was funded by direct contributions to the restaurant and golf club with sponsors providing prizes, with the aim to run at breakeven.   In 2018 we had a slight excess of €35.
We finished the year with €1,163 and based on this financial position we do not need to raise additional funds from members in 2019/20.

5. Other points:

·        Trusted Trades on www.pineshadleigh.com/trades
·        Thank you to our Sponsors – listed on www.pineshadleigh.com
·        Right turn from Auburn Avenue – new signage, road markings and time restrictions.
·        Thank you to the Gardaí for their ongoing support – especially Garda Alex McDermott, Garda Karen Baxter.
·        Thank you to all the volunteers that give their time to support the NW.

6.  Plans for 2019/2020

Continued communications and awareness /  collaboration with other local groups.

  • Ongoing collaboration with neighbouring NW groups, Deerpark, Park Ave, College Grove.
  • Pecks Lane have expressed an interest in establishing NW.   We will help advise them based on our experience to date.
  • Beechpark Lawn have expressed some interest in joining our NW and we will progress this in the coming months
  • Support community efforts e.g. Tidy towns.

Security and social events

  • Although it is relatively quiet currently, additional security themed events/actions may be considered during the year in relation to alarms, CCTV, locksmiths as well as  bicycle security.
  • Continued local awareness is absolutely essential.

The golf and social night will take place again in early September.
7. Appointment of Area Coordinator, street coordinators, treasurer, secretary 2019/2020

 

The current team have made themselves available to support the scheme again in 2019/20 – This was approved by the meeting.
The attenders specifically  thanked the current team for their dedication and input into the NW.
Area Coordinator: Lorcan Sheehan
Street Coordinator: Liam Delaney, John Murphy, Charlie O’Connor, John Nolan, Peter Blessing, Tom Kennington, Freda Gallagher, Dan O’Shea, Carmel Grogan and Ruth Hogan.
Treasurer: Carmel Grogan                                          Secretary: Freda Gallagher.

8. Castleknock Tidy Towns Initiatives

Evelyn Pender, Castleknock Tidy Towns, gave a presentation on the plans for the coming year. The approach roads around Castleknock will be prioritised for the first year with weekly clean-ups.   The team meet in Myo’s car park at 10am every Saturday morning and it is followed by coffee in the Silver Spoon at 12pm.
Several of our households are actively involved and they will always welcome more volunteers.    There is a Castleknock Tidy Towns facebook page and we agreed that if anybody had suggestions from our area, we can route them through the NW and we will pass them along.

9. Security Update – Joe Moonan,  B at Ease Security Solutions.

A very informative presentation on house alarms, monitoring, and CCTV was followed by Q&A.
Some key inputs:
– Shop around when looking for house alarms and monitoring.   Always use a registered provider.
– Several options on monitoring – no monitoring, self monitoring text alerts, remote monitoring
– Use the alarm system when you are in the house to provide added security.   Set up with Zones that you can adjust.
– CCTV systems – many options available.    Be careful on some of the new systems that rely on broadband as most broadband signals can be easily cut / disabled.
– The Gardai consider that the best deterrents  to burglaries include an alarm system, Lighting, and CCTV.
– Offer of a free assessment if needed for homes in our area.

10.  Community Policing

Local Crime Stats were presented for the greater Castleknock area from Jan to April.   Highlighted that although we have had a quiet year, that there is a continuing level of criminality in the area with Burglaries (23), criminal damage, car thefts, bicycle thefts and drugs offences.
Recent trend that Japanese imports more likely to be stolen in the area. Reminder to people to secure their cars. Bikes recently stolen outside shops.
The commonest entry point for burglars is through back door. Main items taken are jewellery and cash
Good news is that Blanchardstown  GS due to receive 7 new Community Gardai this year.

11.  Any other business

– Some discussion around traffic in the area but acknowledged that this is beyond the scope of the NW.
– Thanks to Castleknock Tennis club for hosting

Thanks to all for their attendance, input and continued support.

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2019 AGM – 29th April at 7.30pm

We will have our Annual General Meeting for the Neighbourhood Watch Group on Monday next 29th April at 7.30pm.

We will be holding the meeting in the newly refurbished Castleknock Tennis Club so there is a good opportunity to explore the new facilities and to socialise with some neighbours after the meeting.

The Agenda for the meeting is as follows:

– Review of 2018 AGM minutes
– Treasurer and Area Coordinator’s Reports
– Brief presentation from Evelyn Pender – Castleknock Tidy Towns
– Discussion / Q&A on Home Security Alarms and CCTV – Joe Moonan, B-at-ease Security
– Community policing Q&A – If possible – subject to operational availability on the night.
– Appointment of Officers and Street Coordinators
– Any other business

We have discussed for some time about getting an expert to address the group on the subject of Alarms and CCTV.   There are many questions including wired vs wireless, monitoring options, upgrade options for existing alarms, CCTV considerations, apps to view homes and many more.      It is difficult to find a speaker who is not also a provider but Joe has agreed to provide us a fact based view of some of the options based on his knowledge of the industry and to keep any promotion to a minimum.   We will hold him to that on the night.

We are blessed to have a great team of volunteers that support us in the Neighbourhood Watch, many of whom have been involved for multiple years.    Much as we want to hold on to this team, if you would be open to volunteering, let us know as it may allow some people the option to rotate off and share the load.   It does not take a large amount of time and it is a very rewarding engagement with your neighbours.

If you have additional items that you would like to have raised at the AGM please let me know.

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the night.

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Castleknock Tidy Towns – Auburn Avenue Clean Up

Auburn Avenue Clean up 13th April 10am

Many of you may have see notices in recent weeks that after a break of 18 years, a group in Castleknock are re-starting a Tidy Towns group in the area.    The group has met on a couple of occasions and they are now organizing their first community clean up for Saturday the 13th of April.    Teams will meet in Myo’s car park at 10am and the first clean up will be focused on Auburn Avenue.

This is a great example of a community initiative and we would encourage people to consider getting involved.    With our Neighbourhood Watch Area spanning Auburn Avenue, it would be a great place to start and we will all benefit from the initiative.  A number of our own residents are already involved and I expect that any additional volunteers would be appreciated.

Volunteers on the day are asked to wear old clothes and bring your gardening gloves. You can also bring any other equipment you like to use when tidying up your own garden (brush, grass edger, rake etc). The Tidy Towns group will have bibs, litter pickers, bags and gloves available on the day.

The tidy towns group have their own facebook page and we will add a link to our Pines Hadleigh page.    If you are interested in getting more involved, let me know and I can connect you with some of our own residents that are involved in the group to date.

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2018 AGM minutes

Forty one people attended as well as Garda Alex McDermott Roe and Garda Karen Baxter. Apologies were received from 10 neighbours.

1. Purpose of Neighbourhood Watch
The main purpose of Neighbourhood Watch is to reduce opportunities for Crime in our area (Pines, Hadleigh Court, Park and Green) by improving personal and home security, maintaining a security awareness and fostering a community spirit where we as neighbours look out for one another.
We will maintain a positive and active relationship with our local Gardai and support them in their efforts in crime prevention and detection. They remain the first port of call.

2.  Minutes of 2017 AGM had been circulated and were taken as read. Progress on 2017 actions is contained in the Area Coordinators Report.

3. Review of the Neighbourhood Watch activity for the past year.

Area co-ordinators report 2017/2018
Reported Incidents to the NW:

2015/16 2016/17 2017/18
Break ins 1 1 0
Car theft 2 0 1
Items stolen from cars 2 3 3
Attempted break-ins 3 2-3 3
Anti-social behaviour 2 0 0
Suspicious tradesmen / activity Multiple Multiple Multiple
Christmas trees Lots Later but still lots Much improved – Only a trickle.

Text alerts and communications:

2015/16 2016/17 2017/18
Text alerts – Gardaí 0 5 2
Text alerts – NW Group 0 12 19
Text messages – NW Group ~6 ~ 7 10
eMail messages 14 20 22

Social:

2015/16 2016/17 2017 /18 Comment
Neighbours Golf 33 30 24 Castleknock GC
Neighbours Night 50 70 58 Vue Restaurant
Locksmiths assessment 20 12 NA D15 & Lacey Locksmiths
Crime prevention talk 0 0 35 Sgt. Vincent Connolly

Communication
95% of households are signed up to the Text Alert system and 87% receive communication from our Neighbourhood Watch by email.
Christmas Trees
Much improvement this year with only a couple of trees left on the green.   Much thanks to the operations team from Fingal, the Gardaí and all our neighbours for their support.
Right turn off Auburn Avenue into the Pines East
We raised this issue with Fingal and with a number of our local representatives, who have in turn raised at a council level.
We have received a response that Fingal will have an engineer review the junction and that they expect to restore the solid white line on Auburn Avenue during the Summer.
Question was raised about people living in the Pines East and Phoenix being able to turn right.    Garda McDermott confirmed that where there was enforcement, it would be the same rule for all.
Sponsors
We appreciate the sponsors that supported our golf and neighbours’ night during the year.   We have listed them on the website and encourage our members to support them during the year.
Trusted Trades
One of the most common issues that we face are bogus traders calling door to door, either using the cover to gain access to houses or to scam householders into paying for work not done.   Engaging with these traders not only puts you at risk but it also puts your neighbours at risk.
On www.pineshadleigh.com/trades  we now have a list of electricians, plumbers, painters, builders, carpenters, locksmiths, alarms and maintenance trades that have been recommended by neighbours.   There is always room for more if you have someone that you could recommend.

4.Financial update and report.            
Treasurers Report

Household contributions received to date are €1,280 representing €10 for 2018 and 2019 from 90% of households.
No grant was received from Muintir Na Tire in 2017/18.
Expenditure of €639 was slightly higher than budget.   We had an extra meeting in the Parish centre for the Crime Prevention talk €75 and we incurred €43 with Hosting Ireland for the domain renewal www.pineshadleigh.com which covers us for the next 2 years.
Text alerts sent by Sendmode cost €351 which was in line with previous years.
The neighbours’ night was funded by direct contributions to the restaurant and golf club with sponsors providing prizes, achieving the aim to run at breakeven.
At the current rate of expenditure, we should be fine for the next 2 years, thanks to the contributions received from all.

Plans for 2018/2019

Continued communications and awareness

Intend to continue collaboration with neighbouring NW groups – Deerpark, Park villas,  Park Avenue, College Grove, but it is  most important  for neighbours to keep lines of communication open and share information in relation to crime prevention

Security

We can organise locksmiths again if this is something that people would like.
In terms of CCTV and alarms, we may look at an event during the year to provide advice and options to those that are interested.

Social

Golf and social – neighbours night.   We have been delighted with the support for these events over the last 2 years.
We will do something again this year but would love to get input from people on what they would like to see.      The social committee will advise in the coming months.

5. Confirmation of Area coordinator, street coordinators, secretary and treasurer roles.

The current team have made themselves available to support the scheme again in the current year.    We are always keen to hear from more people that are willing to get involved.
Area Coordinator: Lorcan Sheehan
Street Coordinator: Liam Delaney, John Murphy, Charlie O’Connor, John Nolan, Peter Blessing, Tom Kennington, Freda Gallagher, Dan O’Shea, Carmel Grogan and Ruth Hogan.
Treasurer: Carmel Grogan
Secretary: Freda Gallagher will take over from Ruth Hogan for the coming year.    Many thanks to Ruth for her work through the year.
Freda Gallagher will be added as an extra signatory on the Post Office account.

6 .Q&A with local  Community Policing team.

Garda Alex Mc Dermot Roe informed the meeting that 3 concerts are planned to take place in the Phoenix Pk this summer and extra police patrolling can be arranged for our area if requested.

An armed response unit is now being utilised. Gardai are willing to follow up on persistent offenders of R hand turn into the Pines.

He advised to be aware of vans in the area and report anything suspicious to the Blanchardstown Garda Station or 999 which is the first port of call in an emergency.

Park villas have recently set up a Neighbourhood Watch. People should ensure that their cars are locked in car parks as the press button key locking mechanism can be intercepted. People who are withdrawing large sums of cash from the bank need to be vigilant.

We would also like to thank the Gardaí, for their continued support – especially Garda Alex McDermott, Garda Karen Baxter and Inspector Twomey

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2018 AGM Agenda

A final reminder for our AGM which will take place tomorrow night – Monday 23rd April at 8.15pm in the Parish Centre in Beechpark Lawn.

The agenda for the AGM is as follows:

  • Purpose of the Neighbourhood Watch
  • Review of 2017 AGM minutes and actions.
  • Review of the Neighbourhood Watch activity for the past year.
  • Financial update and report.
  • Confirmation of Area coordinator, street coordinator, secretary and treasurer roles
  • Q&A with local community policing team (subject to operational availability)
  • Any other business.

Subject to operational availability on the night we expect to have Garda Alex McDermott and Garda Karen Baxter from the community policing team in Blanchardstown available to answer questions.    It is a great opportunity to meet with them and get their perspectives on crime and crime prevention in the area.    We appreciate them giving their time on the night and their continued support during the year.

There is a link here to the 2017 AGM minutes.     In the interest of time we may just cover them in a summary fashion on the night but if anyone has any questions please feel free to raise them.

We have a great team that supports us all in the community through the street coordinators, secretary, treasurer and social committee.      We are always open to others who would like to become more involved in any capacity or to provide suggestions on how to make the group more effective.

We thank you for your support and look forward to seeing many of you at the AGM tomorrow night.

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