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.
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.
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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