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Crime Prevention Corner
By Sergeant Tony Cosgrove
11, Dec 2002 - 10:14

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An Garda Síochána





With Sergeant Tony Cosgrove,

Crime Prevention Officer,

Castlebar Garda Station.

Tel. 094-38200.

Garda Confidential Line: 1800-666111


Motor vehicle related theft is one of the most common crimes in the Mayo Garda Division and includes:

Theft of Property
Theft of Accessories
Theft of Vehicle Itself

Ways to keep your car safe

When Driving:

  • Ensure that all doors are securely locked.
  • No valuables should be left on seats so as to be visible when stopped in traffic etc.


  • The safest place to park is your garage. If you do not have one, use your driveway or a busy, well-lit area.
  • When parking in daylight, think how things will look after dark.


  • Lock them EVERY TIME you leave your car.


  • Have your vehicle registration number etched on all the windows of your car.
  • Make sure they are fully closed when the car is unoccupied, the same applies to the sunroof.


  • Most new cars have alarms fitted as standard, if you don’t have one a good quality alarm should be fitted to your car.
  • If you have an alarm, turn it on every time you park. In some cases you have to press the button on the ignition key twice to activate the alarm.


  • Consideration should be given to fitting an immobilising device to vehicles -if already fitted, use it.

Cassette, CD, Radio

  • The latest models of cars are equipped with specially designed car radio/cassette or C.D. units, which are removable or have anti theft detachable front panels - if it's fitted, use it.
  • There are also security-coded units that won't work if tampered with.
  • Consideration should be given to marking this equipment with a pre-selected security code such as your initials and date of birth.


  • Lockable wheel nuts are a sensible protection for wheels - if fitted, use them.
  • Lockable wheel trims are also very effective.


  • Chequebooks, credit cards or CASH should never be left in the car.
  • Don't leave MOBILE PHONES on view in the car.
  • Never leave any valuables on view in the car. If you cannot take them with you; lock them in the boot, out of sight. When you are doing this ensure you are not being observed. Do this at a location before you park. If you feel you are being observed, move your car to another location.
  • Never leave vehicle documents in the car. Your registration document or insurance certificate could help the thief to sell your car.

Ignition Key:

  • Take the key out even when your car is in the garage.
  • Never leave your vehicle with the engine running.

Road Safety

Some people think that Road Safety only applies to motorists but it applies equally to pedestrians and cyclists. Unfortunately four pedestrians have been killed on the roads of Mayo this year.

We are urging motorists to be more conscious of pedestrians and cyclists on the roads. Pedestrians should wear bright clothing and reflective bands, walk facing oncoming traffic and carry a torch. They should use footpaths and pedestrian crossings where these are available.

Cyclists should also wear bright clothing and reflective bands. They must by law carry a front and rear light and a rear reflector. Cycle helmet are not compulsory, but are highly recommended.

The basic message for all road users is:


Community Alert


Make your community a safer place:

  • For your neighbour
  • For your children
  • For older people
  • For vulnerable people
  • For you, your family and your home.

Community Alert is a community-based programme organised by voluntary groups in association with Muintir na Tíre and An Garda Síochána.

In the Mayo Garda Division, Community Alert is very strong thanks to the excellent work of the volunteers who give of their time freely for the good of their community.

This good work is reflected in the fact that we have not had an attack on the elderly for some time. However there is no room for complacency and people in the community must be vigilant at all times.

What can you do?

  • Get to know your neighbours, particularly those living alone and be a good neighbour to them. Call in and visit especially over the long winter nights, run an errand – it’s the small things and the human contact that count.
  • Make sure this Christmas that the elderly in your community have enough to eat and are warm and safe.
  • Be on the alert for people or vehicles acting suspiciously. Write down the registration number and details of the transport and occupants and contact your local Garda Station who will be glad to check them out.
  • Keep an eye on your property and that of your neighbours – help to prevent vandalism and theft.
  • Be aware of other safety initiatives.
  • If you live in a Community Alert area make contact with your local Garda or committee member and find out how you can help.
  • Young People – take an interest in your neighbourhood by getting involved with Community Alert in your area. Go along to the next meeting and offer to help out. You may find it very rewarding.

A reminder for the elderly:

  1. If you have a security pendant- wear it, - it’s no use hanging on the bed if you fall outside the back door and need help.
  2. Test it once a month with the monitoring station to ensure it is working properly.
  3. Test your smoke alarm(s) once a month also – if you don’t have one, fit it now.


Community Alert committees hold their AGM’s in the winter months, if you haven’t done so please hold it soon.

If you have been a victim of a crime you can contact Mayo Victim Support

at 094-71433.

Wishing all readers a Happy, Safe and Crime-Free Christmas.

Tony Cosgrove.


© Copyright 2002 by © Contributor(s) and Castlebar Web Pages 1997 - 2018

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