Firstly, we would like to wish a Happy Mothers’ Day to all the mothers in our area. We home that you enjoy the day and that you know that our appreciation of you is not just limited to a single Sunday in March.
Crime and Security in the Area:
During the week, we had one of our regular meetings with the Gardaí in Blanchardstown and other local neighbourhood watch groups. This is a check in on what is happening in the broader Castleknock and Carpenterstown Area and an opportunity to discuss crime and crime prevention.
While we have seen an increase in activity in January, the overall burglary numbers for the Castleknock area were not noticeably higher. We would have a relatively low incidence of crime compared to other areas within the Blanchardstown district but the statistics show that there were between 3 and 8 incidents per month from November through January of burglary or attempted burglary in the broader Castleknock area.
This serves as a reminder that even in months which are quiet for our NW area, we need to maintain vigilance. Gardaí did have some successes in the area with two arrests in November in the area and a further two in February of persons with tools to commit a burglary.
Drugs are a feature in most towns in Ireland and Castleknock is not immune to same. Gardaí made three arrests in Castleknock in recent months for possession – none in our NW area. Awareness of this is issue is particularly important for parents of younger people who may not realise that this is a potential issue in our area.
Keyless car entry:
There have been a number of incidents in relation to the theft of cars – particularly the more modern ones with keyless fob entry.
There is a very good article and video from the Telegraph which explains the vulnerability of many modern car brands and explains that criminals can use a simple ‘range extender’ to rebroadcast signals from cars with a hallway to cars that allows entry and the car to be started as if they had the key. Once started, many models can continue to be driven until the driver shuts off the engine. There is a link to this article here.
Gardaí in Blanchardstown have come across the use of this in the greater district and arrested individuals in possession of this equipment – case is due before the circuit court. One of the short term solutions would appear to be to store keys in a metal box when not in use but this seems like something that the car industry will need to address.
There is also a blocking device that Gardaí have seen in use in car parks, which blocks the signal when people are locking their cars. The advice here is to make sure that your car is locked before you walk away from your vehicle.
Approach to young girl:
The Gardaí spoke briefly about an incident last week in relation to an approach made to a young girl in the late afternoon in the Castleknock Drive area.
They are treating the incident very seriously and have interviewed witnesses and are examining CCTV footage as part of their investigation. They will also work with local schools as appropriate with any guidance.
Safety of our children is something that we should all take seriously and social media contained a number of alerts re same. The Gardaí did caution that while social media is very beneficial in many ways, sometimes the information distributed in this way may not fully and accurately capture what has occurred.
Schools and door to door collections:
The Gardaí issued a text alert last week about a bogus door to door collection in aid of St. Brigid’s school. This is something that they advise comes up every couple of months in areas such as Castleknock, where people are seen as having the disposable income and generous towards local causes.
The advice here is to only contribute to a local cause where you know the individuals concerned and to question or just not contribute if you are suspicious. Many schools and charities have stopped the practice of door to door collections and those that do generally apply to the Gardaí for a permit for such collections.
Auburn Avenue – right turn into the Pines:
We raised the issue once again about the issue of cars driving the wrong side of the road to turn right into the Pines when traffic gets built up. The Gardaí appreciated the danger and agreed to alert their operations team on the practice for follow up.
We will also write to Fingal and some of our local representatives to see about getting the solid white line reinstated on Auburn avenue.
Bogus Irish Water Employees:
The Irish Independent carried a story yesterday about bogus Irish Water employees that robbed an elderly woman in Terenure, having called to her home supposedly to check the water pressure.
In the context of all the media reports of reduced water pressure you can understand how someone can be fooled by such an approach but it again reminds us not to let strange callers into our homes.